School board members present oral argument in U.S. Supreme Court on whether public officials’ use of personal social media accounts constitutes state action subject to First Amendment constraints
Client(s) O'Connor-Ratcliff, Michelle and Zane, T.J.
On behalf of two municipal school board members, Jones Day presented oral argument on the question whether public officials’ use of personal social media accounts constitutes state action subject to First Amendment constraints. Jones Day’s clients used their own personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to communicate with the public about their jobs and the school district. They blocked two parents from the accounts who had spammed them with repetitive comments. The Ninth Circuit held that this violated the First Amendment, reasoning that Jones Day’s clients were acting under color of law because their accounts featured their official positions and communicated with constituents about governmental business. Having persuaded the Supreme Court to grant certiorari, Jones Day contends that its clients were acting in their personal capacities as private citizens and candidates for re-election, because their operation of the accounts neither exercised any governmental duty nor invoked any governmental authority.
O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier, No. 22-324 (U.S.)