Appeals court puts stay on gag order in Trump's D.C. trial

November 4, 2023

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order on former President Donald Trump limiting what he can say in the context of his trial for actions following the 2020 election.

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit temporarily lifted the order on Friday after Trump filed an emergency motion for a stay.

Trump says order violates the First Amendment

According to Fox News, Trump's lawyers contend that Chutkan's gag order is in contravention of the former president's constitutional rights as well as those of the public.

"No court in American history has imposed a gag order on a criminal defendant who is actively campaigning for public office — let alone the leading candidate for President of the United States," they wrote in their filing on Thursday.

"The Gag Order violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and over 100 million Americans who listen to him," they added.

What's more, the defense attorneys went on to complain that the order is "muzzling President Trump’s core political speech during a historic Presidential campaign."

ACLU sides with Trump

Fox News noted that Chutkan's gag order prohibits the former president from making disparaging remarks about Special Counsel Jack Smith, members of his legal team, court staff, or witnesses.

Trump is not alone in opposing the order, as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a brief of its own on the matter late last month.

"Former President, and now Defendant, Donald Trump has said many things. Much that he has said has been patently false and has caused great harm to countless individuals, as well as to the Republic itself," The Hill quoted it as stating.

"But Trump retains a First Amendment right to speak, and the rest of us retain a right to hear what he has to say," the document went on to declare.

New York judge expands gag order to cover Trump's lawyers

Chutkan's is not the only gag order Trump has to contend with, as the New York judge overseeing the former president's civil fraud trial has imposed one of his own.

Fox News reported last weekend that Judge Arthur Engoron imposed a $10,000 fine against Trump for attacking Engoron's clerk, an accusation Trump denied.

That move came days after Engoron fined Trump $5,000 and threatened him with jail time over a social media post that remained up on his campaign website.

What's more, the blog Law & Crime reported on Friday that Engoron expanded his gag order to also cover Trump's lawyers.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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