Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has settled a lawsuit and issued an apology to former New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind after blocking him on Twitter, The Hill reported on Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez chose to settle the lawsuit ahead of her scheduled testimony in court Tuesday, and issued a statement apologizing for blocking Hikind.
“Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them,” she was quoted as having said. “In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind.”
Hikind filed the lawsuit against Ocasio-Cortez in July for blocking him on Twitter because he holds opposing viewpoints.
He told the New York Times that Ocasio-Cortez blocked him from her personal Twitter account on July 8, after he criticized her for calling US migrant detention centers “concentration camps.”
Hikind’s attorneys cited the precedent established in a federal court ruling last year which found that President Donald Trump had violated Twitter users’ First Amendment rights by blocking them from his personal account.
A federal judge in New York last month ordered Ocasio-Cortez to testify in court before she chose to apologize to Hikind.
“It’s pretty incredible. She’s apologizing,” Hikind told the New York Daily News on Monday. “This might be the first time that she actually says, ‘I was wrong.’ It’s great. It’s a great victory for First Amendment rights.”