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In 2019, an appeals court upheld a decision that President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking users from his Twitter account.

Two days ago, the Supreme Court declared the case "moot" and vacated the appeals court's ruling. An article gives the following reason:

The high court dismissed the case because Trump is not in office so there is no longer a live case or controversy.

I do not understand this reasoning. Why not leave the appeals court's ruling on the record, because it is always possible a future president will try to block users while communicating with a personal social media account? Now if the issue pops up again in the future, a president will be allowed to block users for multiple years while the issue gets re-litigated from scratch.

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    You can find the answer in the opinions given. Haven't read them personally, but have heard quotes attributed to Justice Clarence Thomas' opinion. – hszmv Apr 7 at 17:17
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    Additionally, I would reword the question as the decision being vacated means that presidents blocking users from Twitter (or other Politicians. AOC was sued for blocking users citing this case as precedent ) is not "wrong" or done "wrongly" since the case is now moot. – hszmv Apr 7 at 17:20
  • It's especially moot since Trump is banned from twitter. – Trish Apr 7 at 18:36
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    @hszmv Only Thomas wrote a full opinion, though, and no other justices joined, so there's no "official" reasoning to go off of. – awksp Apr 7 at 19:18
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    @MooingDuck: That is not what the 2nd Circuit based its reasoning on. Anyone can read any public Twitter post without logging in, so blocking has nothing to do with that (i.e. you could just log out or read it in incognito mode). Instead, the 2nd Circuit reasoned, the problem is that blocking people prevents their replies from showing up underneath your tweets, which is classic viewpoint discrimination. By selectively blocking people who disagree with him, Trump was (according to the 2nd Circuit) suppressing their speech in a public forum (which he created by sending "official" tweets). – Kevin Apr 9 at 21:31
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The case was appealed and taken by SCOTUS. Then the case became moot:

The SCOTUS may only weigh in on live and active cases of controversy. The case is neither live nor active because it was rendered moot in January. As a result, it had to be dismissed, or the decision to take the case overturned.

Speculating why they chose one over the other is moot, as there is no majority opinion given and the judges won't answer such questions.

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    @J.Win. they already had granted cert, now the case came up on the schedule again, it had to be dismissed based on the changed facts. – Trish Apr 7 at 21:04
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    I did not know this. So, after granting cert, the court has to make a decision, and cannot withdraw the grant? – J. Win. Apr 7 at 21:09
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    They could have dismissed the writ of cert as improvidently granted, which it obviously was. They chose not to, likely because they didn't want to leave the precedent standing. Here's one example of the Supreme Court doing exactly that. LabCorp v. Metabolite – David Schwartz Apr 7 at 21:48
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    @Trish The case becoming moot after cert is granted is one of the most common examples of a situation where cert was deemed improvidently granted. That's not a controversial claim. (As just one example, the Supreme Court did this in Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS which became moot due to a settlement leaving no party with any interest in contesting or defending the lower court ruling.) – David Schwartz Apr 7 at 22:08
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    @JohnathanReez the issue need not be common but "capable of repetition," and, critically, "evading review." Litigation around pregnancy evades review because a full term pregnancy is considerably shorter than the typical duration of the appellate process. This test was established a few decades earlier. See (and note the order of the litigants) the Wikipedia article on Roe v. Wade for a more detailed discussion. – phoog Apr 8 at 2:43
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The Supreme Court has a lot of things they can do in theory, but in reality, there are only two options the Court likely considered:

One was to simply dismiss the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted due to neither party being significantly affected by the outcome of the case, as they did in Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS.

The second was to vacate the lower court ruling and remand with instructions to the lower court to dismiss the case. That is what they did in this case.

Why not leave the appeals court's ruling on the record, because it is always possible a future president will try to block users while communicating with a personal social media account? Now if the issue pops up again in the future, a president will wrongly be allowed to block users for multiple years while the issue gets re-litigated from scratch.

That was their other option. The most obvious explanation for why they didn't pick that option is that the Supreme Court explicitly wanted this result, likely because at least some of them don't agree with your characterization that they would "wrongly be allowed".

I suspect what's going on here is that there is nobody to challenge this ruling in an adversarial situation. So the Supreme Court doesn't want a piece of precedent that resulted only from the administration being changed and would prefer that if there's going to a precedent-setting case on this, that it be aggressively litigated.

So essentially, they didn't want this on the books because it wouldn't get appealed and they weren't convinced it was decided correctly.

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