Congressional Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Monday she had agreed to lift a Twitter block she had placed on New York state former Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Ocasio-Cortez also apologized for having blocked Hikind over his criticisms of her. “Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them,” she reportedly stated. “In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind.”
In turn, Hikind withdrew a First Amendment suit he filed against Ocasio-Cortez. He had brought the case in July, days after a federal appellate court in New York ruled that President Donald Trump acted unconstitutionally when he blocked critics on Twitter based on their political views.
Hikind, a Brooklyn resident who currently runs the advocacy group Americans Against Anti-Semitism, says he was blocked by Ocasio-Cortez after he criticized her for saying the government was running “concentration camps” on the border.
Hikind alleges he was blocked “purely because of his speech in support of Jewish values and Israel.”
Ocasio-Cortez, whose Twitter account, @AOC, currently 5.7 million followers, set off a controversy earlier this year by referring to immigrant detention centers as concentration camps. Some critics accused her of minimizing the Holocaust, but other people said her use of the term was historically accurate.
In August, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University — which also represents people blocked by Trump on Twitter urged Ocasio-Cortez not to block social media users over their political opinions.
“We understand from news reports that you may be blocking some Twitter users from your @AOC account because of the views they have expressed,” the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University said in a letter to Ocasio-Cortez. “This practice is unconstitutional, and we are writing in the hope of dissuading you from engaging in it.”