OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Famed law Prof. Jonathan Turley believes that the gag order that has been imposed on former President Donald Trump is “unconstitutional.”
The professor spoke to Fox News host Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle” and shredded the order and explained why he believes it violates the Constitution after an appeals court placed a temporary freeze on it.
“They decided in perhaps an abundance of caution to order this stoppage until they can give it a full review,” the professor said. “The reason I think this could be quite significant is because I think the order is unconstitutional.”
He mentioned that the order has “drawn the criticism of even the ACLU, which is a staunch critic of Donald Trump,” he said. “But the ACLU has said, ‘Look, this is flagrantly unconstitutional.’”
A day after the order was imposed, the professor penned an op-ed in which he said it was “overbroad and dangerous.”
“This order should concern everyone who values freedom of speech,” he said. “While the odds may favor Chutkan on appeal, this order should be overturned as overbroad and dangerous.”
“For years, many of us have been criticized Trump for his personal attacks on judges and opponents alike. Undeterred, Trump has continued such inflammatory attacks on ‘deranged’ Special Counsel Jack Smith and the ‘biased, Trump-hating Judge’ Chutkan. Smith has pushed aggressively for a gag order, even though one of the major issues in Trump’s campaign is whether the Biden Administration has weaponized the criminal justice system against him and other Republicans,” he said.
“This week, Chutkan issued a partial gag order and stressed that she will not allow Trump to conduct a ‘smear campaign’ in which he seeks to ‘vilify and implicitly encourage violence against public servants who are simply doing their jobs.’ She stressed that ‘no other criminal defendant would be allowed to do so, and I’m not going to allow it in this case.’ Chutkan reflects this trend in stating categorically that these are the limits that must be imposed regardless of the defendant,” he said.
“These orders come at a great cost — limiting both parties and counsels in raising objections to alleged abuses of the government. The First Amendment was written in the aftermath of such abuses, including the infamous prosecution of publisher John Peter Zenger 290 years ago in 1733,” he said.
Former President Trump got a massive victory in his continuing struggle to be allowed to speak as his ‘election interference’ case plays out in Washington, D.C.
On Friday, a federal appeals court issued a temporary freeze to a gag order issued by the federal judge presiding over the case, CNN reported.
“In a brief order, a three-judge panel at the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals said they were pausing the gag order issued by District Judge Tanya Chutkan to give them more time to consider Trump’s request to pause the order while his appeal plays out before the court,” the report said.
“The appellate judges – Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard, both Barack Obama appointees, and Brad Garcia, a Joe Biden appointee – said they would fast-track Trump’s appeal of the gag order and hear arguments in the matter on November 20,” it said.
The former president’s attorneys complained to the court that the gag order was “unconstitutional.”
“The prosecution’s request for a Gag Order bristles with hostility to President Trump’s viewpoint and his relentless criticism of the government—including of the prosecution itself,” the attorneys said. “The Gag Order embodies this unconstitutional hostility to President Trump’s viewpoint. It should be immediately stayed.”
Prosecutors had even attempted to have the former president placed behind bars for violating the gag order, which U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rebuffed in October.
Newsweek reported that Chutkan turned away a request from the Department of Justice to put Trump in jail for violating a gag order she re-imposed on him. In a footnote reinstating the gag order, the judge denied federal prosecutors’ request to incorporate her order into the conditions of Trump’s release.
“Even assuming that request is procedurally proper, the court concludes that granting it is not necessary to effectively enforce the order at this time,” she wrote.