Three Grand Junction residents have filed a complaint with the Colorado State Senate’s Committee on Ethics alleging Sen. Ray Scott blocked them from his official social media pages. Though the residents do not yet have plans to take legal action, they have looked to a July federal court ruling from Virginia for guidance on possible questions of legality raised by the senator’s actions.
The complainants, who all live in Scott’s District 7, include Anne Landman, Claudette Konola and Martin Wiesiolek. According to the complaint, the Republican state senator and assistant majority leader blocked them from his official social media accounts because of critical opinions they expressed about his policies and views. The complainants allege Scott’s actions constitute viewpoint discrimination and violate the First and 14th Amendments as well as the Colorado Constitution.
In their position, the complainants take cue from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s opinion in Davison v. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. That ruling determined the county’s chair of its board of supervisors, Phyllis Randall, violated the First Amendment when she briefly blocked a constituent from her
official Facebook page after he left a comment she deemed critical and accusatory of her government colleagues.
“It’s strikingly similar to what we have going on here,” Landman said, noting none of the constituents have been regranted access to Scott’s social media pages and by contrast, Randall only blocked her constituent from her Facebook page for several hours before reinstating his access.