ACLU Backs Trump, Argues DC Judge Gag Order Violates First Amendment

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Max Power

Max Power is the Editor-in-Chief of Undoing Time.  You can reach him at or by calling 866-664-3052


Donald Trump Mugshot and ACLU

Washington, D.C. – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has thrown its support behind former President Donald Trump in his legal battle against a limited gag order imposed by a Washington, D.C. judge in his election interference case. The ACLU announced on October 25, 2023 that it intends to file an amicus brief arguing that the imposed gag order is unconstitutional.

Simultaneously, federal prosecutors have petitioned U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to reinstate the gag order, which is temporarily on hold. They assert that the gag order is necessary to prevent Trump from potentially intimidating witnesses due to his history of using inflammatory language to target specific individuals.

You can read the Government’s Response in Opposition to Judge Chutkan’s Stay HERE:

Docket # 23-cr-00257-TSC-1 – Document 120 – Government’s Response in Opposition to Motion to Stay

In documents submitted to the court on October 25, 2023, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s legal team contended that Trump’s past statements, which they describe as “patently false,” have caused significant harm to numerous individuals and to the nation itself. However, they also acknowledge Trump’s First Amendment right to free speech, stating that he has the right to express his opinions.

Trump has been using his social media platform, Truth Social, criticize prosecutors, judges, and witnesses involved in his legal cases.

On October 17, 2023 Judge Chutkan issued a partial gag order on Trump, prohibiting him from making statements that target Special Counsel Smith, his team, witnesses, and court personnel. The judge allowed Trump to criticize the Justice Department in general terms and express his belief that the case against him is politically motivated. However, she prohibited him from posting attacks against prosecutors or court staff.

Trump has appealed the gag order, claiming that it infringes on his free speech rights. On October 20, 2023, Judge Chutkan issued a stay on the order pending his appeal, and Trump has resumed making posts regarding the special counsel and witnesses.

The ACLU argues that Judge Chutkan’s order is too vague in its prohibition of “targeting” the special counsel, potential witnesses, and the “substance of their testimony,” as it could be interpreted to mean that Trump would violate the order by merely mentioning these individuals.

Furthermore, the ACLU argues that the order is overly broad because it encompasses Smith, a public official, and the “substance” of any witnesses’ testimony. This broader scope could have implications for the 2024 presidential campaign, given that Trump holds a significant lead in polls for the 2024 Republican presidential primary.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, United States v. Donald J. Trump, Docket #

You can read the ACLU’s First Amendment Brief to Submitted on Donald Trump’s Behalf HERE:

Docket # 23-cr-00257-TSC-1 – Proposed Amicus Curiae Brief of the ACLU in Support of Donald Trump


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Donald Trump, First Amendment, gag order, ACLU, Judge Chutkan, Election Interference Case

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