Appeals courts temporarily lift Trump’s gag order as he fights restrictions on his speech
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has temporarily lifted a gag order on Donald Trump In the 2020 election interference case in Washington on Friday – the latest development in the legal battle over the 2020 presidential election interference case. Restrictions on the former president’s speech.
The decision by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit suspends the limited gag order to give judges time to consider Trump’s request for a longer pause on the restrictions while his appeals are heard. The appeals court said the pause “should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits” of Trump’s bid.
The court has scheduled oral arguments for November 20 before a panel of three judges, all appointed by Democratic presidents.
Trump’s lawyer declined to comment on Friday.
Mask orderimposed by U.S. District Judge Tanya ChutkanTrump is prohibited from making public statements targeting prosecutors, court staff and potential witnesses in the case that accuses him of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election, which he lost to President Joe Biden. The former president is still allowed to assert his innocence and his claims that the case against him is politically motivated.
ChutkanWho was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama The publication ban was re-imposed on Sundayafter prosecutors pointed to Trump’s recent comments on social media about his former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
It’s the The most serious restrictions A court has placed the speech of a Republican presidential candidate and a criminal defendant in four separate cases. Gag orders are not unheard of in high-profile cases, but courts have never before had to wrestle with whether they can restrict a presidential candidate’s speech.
Special counsel Jack Smith’s team said Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about those involved in the case threatens to undermine public confidence in the judicial system and influence potential witnesses who could be called to testify.
Trump’s lawyers say they will go to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to fight what they say are unconstitutional restrictions on his political speech. The defense said prosecutors presented no evidence that potential witnesses or anyone else felt intimidated by the former president’s social media posts.
Appeals Court Judges Brad Garcia, Patricia Millett and Cornelia Billard will hear the case.
Garcia, a former Justice Department official who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, was appointed to the court last May by Biden. Millett is an Obama appointee, and before becoming a judge he argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Pillard was appointed to the court by Obama after serving as a lawyer at the Justice Department and a professor at Georgetown University Law School.
The appeals court could ultimately uphold the gag order or find that Chutkan’s restrictions went too far. Either way, the case will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, although there is no guarantee the justices will hear the matter.
Richer reported from Boston.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com