Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apologizes to man who sued her for blocking him on Twitter

William Cummings


Published 3: 00 PM EST Nov 4, 2019

WASHINGTON – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apologized Monday to a man she had blocked on Twitter as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit he brought against her earlier this year. 

The New York Democrat said she had reconsidered her decision to block former New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who had often criticized her on the social media platform, particularly her comparison of migrant detention centers to concentration camps. 

“Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them,” she said in a statement. “In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind.” 

But Ocasio-Cortez, who has said she has received many threats, reserved the right to block those she felt were harassing her. 

Hikind said in a news conference that he was pleased with Ocasio-Cortez’s apology and that he “couldn’t ask for much more at this point.” He said he hoped it would be the start of a dialogue between himself and the congresswoman. 

From unknown to US Congress: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says sudden fame is like ‘a tattoo on your face’

More: Bernie Sanders says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will work in his administration if he’s president

“Every public official needs to unblock the public from following them on Twitter,” Hikind said. “You want to be in elective office? Don’t be afraid of what people have to say to you.”

His lawsuit was filed after a federal appeals panel ruled that President Donald Trump could not block Twitter users who criticized him. The panel said that because Trump often made policy announcements and conducted official business through his Twitter account, he was silencing critics and violating their First Amendment rights by blocking them. 

See also  Monmouth poll shows tight race for Democratic nomination

Voices: Trump blocked me on Twitter. I sued (and won) because modern town halls happen online.

Hikind said that people who “cross the line” and threaten public officials are “another story.” 

“But just because you don’t like what someone is saying, or you don’t like the way they’re saying it, does not give you a right to abridge their freedom of speech,” he said. 

Ocasio-Cortez has more than 5.7 Twitter followers on her account, which she uses to discuss topics ranging from mundane personal matters to legislation and congressional affairs. 

The congresswoman had been scheduled to testify Tuesday in the case, Kikind said, adding that he had looked forward to hearing “why Ocasio-Cortez decided to silence me, to silence my voice, to take away my speech.” 

Contributing: The Associated Press 

‘The halls of Congress are no joke’: AOC reflects on Congress as she endorses Sanders

‘They’re just mad we look good doing it’: AOC responds to story about the price of her hairstyle

Read More

Leave a Reply