A federal appeals court reportedly ruled on Monday that a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by blocking an individual from viewing her Facebook page.

Reuters reported that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 ruling, said that Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors broke the First Amendment rights of Brian Davison when she she barred him from her Facebook page for 12 hours. 


Randall had reportedly banned Davison from her “Chair Phyllis J. Randall” page after he accused school board members and their relatives of corruption and conflicts of interest in a post. He made the claim after attending a town hall meeting in 2016, Reuters noted. 

Randall argued that her Facebook page was a private website. But Circuit Judge James Wynn rejected that assertion, saying the “interactive component” was a public forum and that her move to ban Davison represented illegal viewpoint discrimination.

“[Davison's speech] occupies the core of the protection afforded by the First Amendment,” Wynn wrote.

Reuters noted that Davison's case was the first time one related on the subject was heard at the federal appellate level. The move from could pave the way for it be to be cited as precedent.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE is involved in a similar case. He has asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to overturn a ruling from last year where a judge said that the president could not block critics from his personal Twitter account. 

The Department of Justice has argued that the ruling was “fundamentally misconceived."