A group of 18 Republican state attorneys general have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting former President Donald Trump’s appeal against the gag order imposed by D.C. Court of Appeals District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
The legal maneuver hearkens back to when 25 states filed amicus briefs in Texas v. Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, & Pennsylvania seeking Supreme Court intervention in the 2020 Electoral College certification.
According to The Daily Caller, 16 states joined with Iowa and West Virginia AG’s Brenna Bird and Patrick Morrisey to file the amicus brief arguing that Chutkan “overstepped” her judicial role by imposing the gag order. In the brief, they wrote,
“The district court here overstepped its role in issuing an overly broad order denying Defendant, President Donald J. Trump, from making public statements about “individuals involved in the judicial process…”
The court imposed “limited restrictions on extrajudicial statements” that hinder and inhibit the ongoing presidential campaign, particularly as applied to limiting President Trump’s ability to make statements about witnesses who are themselves part of that campaign. That overbroad Order—an order that a major United States presidential candidate mute himself on a major campaign issue—cannot survive any level of scrutiny.”
The states continued, “Beyond its overbreadth, the Order is impermissibly vague. By failing to articulate what it means to “target” the individuals the Order identifies, the Court’s prior restraint will unlawfully chill President Trump’s speech.”
They argued their standing definitively, “As administrators of free and fair elections, we have an interest in ensuring no illegal prior restraint is entered against any major political candidate. Indeed, our citizens have an interest in hearing from major political candidates in that election. The Order threatens the States’ interests by infringing on President Trump’s free speech rights.”
All Americans have the right to free speech & that includes @realDonaldTrump!
Restricting a political candidate’s free speech while they run for office is a dangerous precedent & a disservice to American voters. But we’re pushing back!
— Brenna Bird (@BrennaBird) November 15, 2023
Bird posted to X, “All Americans have the right to free speech & that includes @realDonaldTrump! Restricting a political candidate’s free speech while they run for office is a dangerous precedent & a disservice to American voters. But we’re pushing back!” She also thanked Morrisey for his support.
The West Virginia AG posted, “Proud to co-lead this effort with Iowa to ensure that President Trump’s First Amendment rights are protected.”
According to the West Virginia AG’s Office, the states of Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah joined the brief.
As previously reported by Trending Politics, Trump’s ongoing battles against the gag orders placed by Chutkan and New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron have taken a front-row seat due to troubling threats, particularly from Engoron, to jail the 2024 GOP frontrunner which would present utterly unprecedented judicial interference in the conduct of a Presidential election and further inflame polarization and increasing public tension between liberals and conservatives.