Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be called to testify after her campaign manager Rebecca Rodriguez said today that the congresswoman blocks people on Twitter if she feels their input is no longer “constructive.”
Rodriguez made the comments during a hearing for a lawsuit filed by former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Hikind is suing Ocasio-Cortez for blocking him on Twitter and claims that she is preventing him from viewing or interacting with her account based on the “opinions he expressed” when replying to her tweets.
Hikind said that he was blocked by Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter in June after criticizing her claims that “the United States is running concentration camps on our southern border.”
“That comment from her, I found so incredibly outrageous,” Hikind remarked during the hearing.
Rodriguez explained in the hearing that Ocasio-Cortez blocks critics “if she feels the posts start reaching a point where it's not constructive, where it's an attack and where the person becomes so polarizing that she cannot have a conversation with them and they're amplifying their platform.”
Rodriguez added that she didn't know the exact reason behind Ocasio-Cortez's decision to block Hikind but that it was Ocasio-Cortez's “judgment call.”
Brooklyn federal Judge Frederic Block responded to Rodriguez's comments by calling on Ocasio-Cortez to testify in the case: “I think she has to testify. Her point is that this was an A-OK thing to do … she has to explain.”
Today's statements from Rodriguez come less than a month after Ocasio-Cortez claimed that she has blocked “less than 20 accounts” on Twitter for “ongoing harassment.”
At the time, the Knight First Amendment at Columbia University had written to Ocasio-Cortez and attempted to dissuade her from the unconstitutional practice of blocking people on Twitter because of the views they have expressed. The institute cited the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from July that it's unconstitutional for public officials to block people on Twitter for political views. However, Ocasio-Cortez refused to unblock any of the accounts.
Hikind's lawsuit is one of several that have been filed against Ocasio-Cortez since this ruling, with Joey Saladino, the first YouTuber to be running for Congress, also suing her in July. Saladino's campaign says he was blocked by Ocasio-Cortez in May shortly after Saladino announced his candidacy.