University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Public Affairs


Social media has provided an unprecedented level of constituent access to their government representatives. While this comes with many benefits to both constituents and representatives, there are many drawbacks to it as well. There are times when comments from a particularly angry or annoying constituent may tempt a government official to hit the block button. But such action has obvious First Amendment implications. At the same time, officials are still private individuals who have their own private right and ability to speak on government matters without implicating state action. The Supreme Court has accepted certiorari in two cases to resolve an alleged circuit split on this issue. But the idea that there are two competing views and tests to evaluate misses the full picture. While the Circuits have articulated different vocabulary, they are all truly examining the same criteria. In this Comment, I will examine how the cases presented before each circuit will have the same result regardless of which articulation of the test is utilized.