Left-Wing Organization Sides With Trump

The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union is outraged at just about everything former President Donald Trump says, but it supports his freedom to say it.

The ACLU has filed a brief opposing the gag order imposed on Trump by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan as part of Trump’s federal election interference case.

The order was issued Oct. 16 and has since been appealed by Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, according to CNBC.

“Chutkan last week put her gag order on pause as she considers a request from Trump’s attorneys for a stay pending the appeal,” the outlet reported.

The order bans Trump from making any public statements that “target” special counsel Jack Smith, court staff or potential witnesses in the case.

In a Wednesday news release announcing the brief, Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, took a shot at the former president.

“No modern-day president did more damage to civil liberties and civil rights than President Trump, but if we allow his free speech rights to be abridged, we know that other unpopular voices — even ones we agree with — will also be silenced,” he said.

“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.”

The brief says that “Trump retains a First Amendment right to speak, and the rest of us retain a right to hear what he has to say.”

The ACLU took specific issue with Chutkan’s use of the word “target” in the order, calling it “unconstitutionally vague.”

Trump “cannot possibly know what he is permitted to say, and what he is not,” the brief says.

The group added that a case of such public interest and importance requires “the most stringent First Amendment standard,” especially as it concerns the 2020 election and the events of Jan. 6, 2021, “key points in the ongoing 2024 presidential campaign.”

“Barring any discussion of these entire topics by Defendant is unconstitutionally overbroad,” the brief says.

The ACLU added that “attempts to gag speech that addresses how the Special Counsel is conducting his work … unduly undermine public discussion on matters of public concern that is at the heart of what the First Amendment protects.”

The group agreed with prosecutors that there is a risk that something Trump says could trigger a supporter to “engage in violence.”

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

The ACLU also argued that stifling Trump’s speech on the case, “one of the most talked-about trials of all time,” would serve little purpose.

“Where so many are already saying so much about the topic, it seems unlikely that silencing the defendant is justified,” the brief says.

via westernjournal

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