ACLU Files Brief Against Trump’s Gag Order Calling It ‘Unconstitutional’
The American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief arguing that the gag order imposed upon former President Donald Trump is unconstitutional.
Judge Tanya Chutkan set the gag order as a way to limit Trump from making comments about potential witnesses in his attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
The ACLU, which has previously opposed Trump’s policies, recognized that a variety of the things Trump has said “has been patently false and has caused great harm to countless individuals, as well as to the Republic itself.”
Regardless, they argued that he “retains a First Amendment right to speak, and the rest of us retain a right to hear what he has to say.”
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Chutkan temporarily froze the gag order to allow the parties additional time to brief her on Trump’s request to pause the order for the duration of the appeal.
When Chutkan handed down the order, she argued that the former president “does not have the right to say and do exactly what he pleases,” prohibiting him from commenting on anything that ‘targets’ court personnel, witnesses, or special counsel and staff.
An appeals court has since affirmed Chutkin’s ruling with a few further changes.
The ACLU noted how the judge’s order is unclear.
“The entire order hinges on the meaning of the word ‘target,'” the ACLU wrote. “But that meaning is ambiguous, and fails to provide the fair warning that the Constitution demands, especially when, as here, it concerns a prior restraint on speech.”
Trump is currently facing various legal challenges; in his New York civil fraud case, he was issued another gag order.
The New York judge fined Trump $10,000 for violating the order and warned of jail time.
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