Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University et al v. Trump et al

Filing 58

LETTER addressed to Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald from Michael Baer dated December 26, 2017 re: Plaintiffs' December 21, 2017 Letter. Document filed by Daniel Scavino, Sean M Spicer, Donald J. Trump.(Baer, Michael)

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U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch 20 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC 20530 December 26, 2017 Via ECF and by Fax The Hon. Naomi Reice Buchwald United States District Court Southern District of New York 500 Pearl Street New York, NY 10007 Re: Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, et al. v. Trump, et al., No. 17-cv-5205 (NRB) Dear Judge Buchwald, Defendants submit this letter in response to Plaintiffs’ December 21, 2017 letter, in which Plaintiffs argue that a colloquy at oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit included a government “concession” that is material to this case. Pls.’ Letter at 1, ECF No. 57. Defendants have never disputed that the President can “make official statements about the policies of his administration” through his @realDonaldTrump account. Defs.’ Summ. J. Br. at 13, ECF No. 35 (citing Stip. ¶¶ 32, 35, 37, ECF No. 30-1). But as Defendants have noted, the question whether tweets are “official statements” ignores the actual issue before this Court: whether “the decision to block a Twitter user from a personal account is an exercise of the executive power that the President possesses by virtue of federal law.” Defs.’ Opp. & Reply Br. at 10, ECF No. 54 (emphasis added). As Defendants have explained at length in their briefs, the answer to that question is no. Respectfully submitted, CHAD A. READLER Acting Assistant Attorney General BRETT A. SHUMATE Deputy Assistant Attorney General ERIC R. WOMACK Assistant Branch Director 2 /s/ Michael H. Baer MICHAEL H. BAER DANIEL HALAINEN Trial Attorneys U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530 Telephone: (202) 305-8573 Facsimile: (202) 616-8460 E-mail: Counsel for Defendants

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