MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Tulane University First Amendment Law Clinic has announced they are suing Sen. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, over her decision to block Maya Detiege from her public Twitter account due to Detiege’s viewpoint and critical tweets. According to Clinic Director Katie Schwartzmann, Jackson’s actions are viewed as violating Detiege’s right to free political speech.

Twitter is the modern version of the public square, the very space our founders held sacred under the First Amendment for the free exchange of differing viewpoints. As an elected official, Senator Jackson should protect that space, encourage debate, and be ready to defend her stances. Shutting down dissenting voices is an attack on basic democratic values.

Clinic Director Katie Schwartzmann

NBC 10 has learned that the dispute began with Detiege’s objection in June 2022 to Jackson’s self-congratulatory tweet about authoring Louisiana Senate Bill 342, legislation that would outlaw almost all abortions in Louisiana should the Court overturn Roe v. Wade. On June 17, 2022, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed that bill into law just days before the Supreme Court announced its decision in Dobbs.

According to officials, when another Twitter user scolded her for SB 342, Jackson allegedly tried to deflect the argument by highlighting taxpayer dollars set aside to combat sex trafficking and support pregnancy centers. Detiege entered the dialogue and criticized the funding, calling it insufficient.

Jackson then allegedly blocked Detiege from her Twitter account without offering an explanation.

Debate and dialogue are what Jackson signed up for by running for office. She owes it to our democracy not to hinder the free exchange of ideas – including ones she disagrees with.

Clinic Director Katie Schwartzmann

The lawsuit demands that Jackson reinstate Detiege’s access to the senator’s public Twitter account and pay for her legal fees. It was filed in the federal court for the Western District of Louisiana.