ACLU Agrees With Trump – Gag Order Is Unconstitutional Assault On The First Amendment

The ACLU filed a brief urging US District Judge Tanya Chutkan to reconsider a gag order on Donald Trump in his "election interference" case.
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a brief on Wednesday urging U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to reconsider a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his “election interference” case.

It is a somewhat shocking move considering the group had been a consistent thorn in Trump’s side during his presidency.

The ACLU insists that Chutkan’s order is too broad, too vague, and a violation of the First Amendment.

Still, they claim Trump “has said many things” that are “patently false and has caused great harm to countless individuals.”

“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 brief reads.

RELATED: Trump Hints He’ll Violate Gag Order: ‘I Am Willing To Go To Jail’ To Save America

ACLU Argues Against Trump Gag Order

Gag orders in general, by their very nature, are a violation of free speech rights and are issued against a defendant at the risk of violating a right to a presumption of innocence.

“The First Amendment does not authorize the Court to impose a judicial gag order on Defendant merely because third parties who hear his public statements may behave badly of their own accord,” the ACLU writes.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, argued in a statement that “if we allow (Trump’s) free speech rights to be abridged, we know that other unpopular voices — even ones we agree with — will also be silenced.”

“As much as we disagreed with Donald Trump’s policies, everyone is entitled to the same First Amendment protection against gag orders that are too broad and too vague,” Romero said.

Chutkan initially implemented the gag order while pointing to Trump’s use of the word “thug” to describe Special Counsel Jack Smith and his prosecutorial team in the so-called ‘election interference’ case.

Smith reiterated his desire to squash Trump’s First Amendment rights on Thursday, asking the judge to reimplement the gag order after a temporary stay claiming the former President is “threatening” witnesses.

RELATED: Senator J.D. Vance: Judge’s Gag Order On Trump An Assault On The First Amendment

Trump Said He’s Willing To Go To Jail

The ACLU’s comments on the Trump gag order are reminiscent of those made by Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) who called Chutkan’s decision “disgraceful.”

“Just a direct assault on the First Amendment,” Vance wrote in an X social media post. “Disgraceful. Something that should be appealed as quickly as possible all the way to the Supreme Court.”

The ACLU seemingly concurred and even hinted that the gag order would interfere in the 2024 presidential election, which is exactly what the Biden administration is hoping for.

“Defendant’s ability to speak publicly about the substance of the prosecution, even including potential witnesses and testimony, is in many ways inextricable from the 2024 presidential campaign in which he is a declared candidate,” they wrote.

Trump, the leading contender for the GOP nomination for president, has contended that the gag order and the trial itself are forms of election interference.

And, he has suggested, if he has to violate the terms in order to communicate with the American people, he will. No matter the risks.

“What they don’t understand is that I am willing to go to jail if that’s what it takes for our country to win and become a democracy again,” Trump said.

Judges can threaten gag order violators with fines or jail time, and Chutkan hinted at possible “sanctions” if Trump were to violate any such order.

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Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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