Arguing for the plaintiffs, Knight attorney Katherine Fallow said that the record "shows unambiguously that the president operates his account in an official capacity, according to the Reuters".
The plaintiffs have said Trump's account is a public forum, and that the president can not block Twitter users simply because they criticize him in replies to his tweets. (The White House has confirmed that the president's tweets are indeed official statements).
The lawsuit was filed after Trump blocked some individuals from realdonaldtrump, a 9-year-old Twitter account with almost 50 million followers. Blocked users are also restricted from commenting in some threads - though there are workarounds.
The Trump administration contends that his Twitter account is a personal platform and not a public one.
"The president has an associational interest in deciding who he's going to spend his time with in that setting", Michael Baer argued for the Justice Department, adding that Mr. Trump's Twitter activity is personal as opposed to a "state action", Reuters reported.
These Twitter users maintain that "because of opinions they expressed in replies to the President's tweets", they "have been prevented or impeded from viewing the President's tweets, from replying to the tweets, from viewing the discussions associated with the tweets, and from participating in those discussions". Others following him, however, can see responses from muted users.
Flights grounded, 50 million on alert ahead of second nor'easter
At 4:30 p.m., NJ Transit announced that all NJ Transit bus service, including buses out of New York City , was suspended. Strong winds may persist in ME , eastern New Hampshire and eastern MA much of the day, but will slacken off elsewhere.
"It creates all these additional barriers", she said.
She also said that if Trump's account is considered a public forum, he wouldn't be able to block people based on their views.
"Once it is a public forum, you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying", Buchwald said.
Buchwald proposed several times that the parties could resolve the lawsuit if Trump used Twitter's "mute" feature.
"Isn't the answer that he simply mutes the person he finds offensive?" she said. "He can avoid hearing them by muting them".
But Buchwald was clearly serious about the proposal; as the two-hour hearing reached its close early Thursday afternoon, the judge urged the two sides to "consider my earlier suggestion".
Judge Reice said she is "not suggesting every citizen has a right that their communication to the government will be read by someone, but a citizen has a right to send communication".