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Arnold & Porter Achieves Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Win on Use of Social Media by Public Officials

March 18, 2024

Arnold & Porter recently won a unanimous victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in an important case about the use of social media by public officials. The case involved the personal Facebook page of the city manager of Port Huron, Michigan, who used the page to announce town policies and interact with his constituents.

Arnold & Porter client Kevin Lindke was blocked from the page after he criticized the city manager’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lindke’s First Amendment challenge was thrown out on the grounds that personal social media use is immune from constitutional scrutiny. The Supreme Court unanimously reversed, ruling that public officials can be held liable for posting public information on their personal accounts when they have authority to speak on the government’s behalf and purport to exercise that authority.

"We are delighted that the Supreme Court has vindicated the right of citizens like Kevin Lindke to hold their public officials accountable when they use personal social media accounts to do their jobs," said Arnold & Porter Appellate & Supreme Court partner Allon Kedem, who argued the case in front of the Supreme Court in October 2023.

The Arnold & Porter team was led by Kedem and also included associates Dana Or, Charlie Birkel, Matthew Farley, Minjae Kim, Nicole Masiello, Caleb Thompson, and Volodymyr Ponomarov.