By
Robert Ayers
|
November 5, 2023
|
11:35 pm

Appeals court stops gag order placed on Donald Trump on 1st Amendment grounds

An appellate court has just placed an administrative stay on the gag order that the lower court had imposed on former President Donald Trump. 

This, according to CBS News, is all taking place in Washington, D.C., in the case in which special counsel Jack Smith has criminally indicted Trump, alleging that Trump engaged in illegal activity following the 2020 presidential election.

The case is being overseen by Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has been shown to have deep Democratic ties - including ties to former President Barack Obama and to Hunter Biden - and to have an anti-Trump bias, which she has demonstrated by imposing harsher sentences on Jan. 6, 2021, violators than those requested by prosecutors.

Now, Chutkan has Trump - the man, himself - before her, and she has been making sure that nothing goes Trump's way.

At Smith's request, Chutkan has imposed a gag order on Trump, stopping the former president from publicly speaking about Smith's prosecutorial team, about court staff, and about potential witnesses.

The gag order, to say the least, is highly controversial, particularly in light of the fact that it prevents Trump - the leading Republican 2024 presidential candidate - from speaking about things that are relevant to his campaign. For this reason, and others, experts have suggested that the gag order is legally dubious.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, in fact, has gone so far as to call it "unconstitutional."

Trump's legal team has appealed Chutkan's order, and this is also what they have argued, namely, that the gag order is unconstitutional.

In a recent court filing, Trump's lawyers argued that Chutkan's gag order is a violation of Trump's First Amendment right to free speech.

They wrote:

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

Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled in Trump's favor by placing an administrative stay on the gag order.

This does not, however, mean that the court has thrown the gag order out.

CBS News explains, "Friday's order is not a decision on the merits of the gag order Chutkan issued last month, but is meant to give the appeals court more time to consider the arguments in the case."

There is no real telling how the appellate court will ultimately rule. But, for now, the gag order is lifted, and Trump can go back to speaking his mind.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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