JTA Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York apologized for blocking Dov Hikind from her personal Twitter account following criticism by the former Brooklyn state assemblyman.
The freshman lawmaker’s apology issued Monday is part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit that Hikind brought against Ocasio-Cortez over the blocking. The case had been scheduled to start Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.
“I have reconsidered my decision to block Dov Hikind from my Twitter account,” Ocasio-Cortez, like Hikind a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. “Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them.”
She also said: “In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind.”
Ocasio-Cortez blocked Hikind on July 8 after he criticized her for calling U.S. migrant detention centers “concentration camps.”
His lawsuit accused Ocasio-Cortez of trying to suppress views contrary to hers in violation of the First Amendment. None of his tweets could be considered harassment, the lawsuit asserted.
Hikind filed the suit hours after a federal appeals court ruled that President Donald Trump was violating the Constitution by blocking those who criticized or mocked him from following his official Twitter account.
Ocasio-Cortez has some 5.7 million followers on her @AOC account, where she discusses policy proposals. Her official congressional account, @RepAOC, has 197,000 followers. She reportedly has blocked several journalists and critics in addition to Hikind.