Nov. 5, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apologized Monday to a former Brooklyn Assemblyman, who had filed a First Amendment lawsuit against her for blocking him on Twitter.
The Congresswoman said she reconsidered her decision to block Dov Hikind from her Twitter account.
Her apology and subsequent unblocking were part of a settlement deal. She was due in court Tuesday to testify in the case, but did not need to appear following the settlement.
“Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them. In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values that I cherish,” AOC said in a statement. “I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind.”
Hikind filed the lawsuit in July shortly after Ocasio-Cortez blocked him from her personal Twitter account, @AOC, which has 5.7 million followers. She uses the account to promote her policy agenda and communicate with constituents on issues.
Hikind said he was blocked after he criticized her remarks comparing the Trump administration’s immigrant detention centers to concentration camps.
Hikind, who was in politics for nearly four decades and founded a nonprofit group that fights anti-Semitism, has been a constant critic of Ocasio-Cortez.
In the lawsuit, Hikind argued that his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech were violated when AOC blocked him.
“I was blocked suddenly. I could not be part of the conversation, I could not share my thoughts,” Hikind said at a press conference Monday. “My mouth was closed shut. I could not respond.”
Hikind touted his win calling AOC’s apology “a great great victory.”
“It’s rather remarkable that she sincerely apologizes for blocking me,” Hikind said. “This is a great moment, I hope more good can come out of this.”
However, Ocasio-Cortez said she still reserves the right to block users on Twitter.
“Now and in the future, however, I reserve the right to block users who engage in actual harassment or exploit my personal/campaign account, @AOC, for commercial or other improper purposes,” she said in the statement.
Ocasio-Cortez’ decision comes months after a three-judge panel barred President Trump from blocking critics on his personal twitter account—since he uses it for political purposes.