Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has settled a lawsuit brought against her by former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who alleged that the freshman Congresswoman violated his First Amendment rights by blocking him on Twitter.
Hikind sued Ocasio-Cortez in July when she blocked him for criticizing her comments comparing border detention centers to concentration camps.
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are,” she said in an Instagram Live video in June.
Ocasio-Cortez issued an apology on Monday saying that what she did “was wrong and improper.”
“I have reconsidered my decision to block Dov Hikind from my Twitter account,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement obtained by the New York Post. “Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them.”
She added: “In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind. 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.”
Hikind said on Twitter Monday that the settlement represents “a great victory not only for me, but for citizens and free speech everywhere.”
Today was a great victory not only for me, but for citizens and free speech everywhere!
However, the fight against antisemitism and its apologists continues and we need your help to achieve more such victories! Please do your part by visiting https://t.co/7UTMXpMF2f today pic.twitter.com/dtuIP2ClMj
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) November 4, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez was also sued by Republican congressional candidate and YouTube star Joseph “Joey Salads” Saladino, who she blocked in a manner similar to Hikind.
In July, a federal appeals court ruled that President Donald Trump can’t block people on his Twitter account because it serves as a public “digital forum.”
Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute brought the lawsuit against President Trump on behalf of seven Twitter users.