On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization often associated with left-leaning views, issued an unexpected statement denouncing a federal judge’s attempted imposition of a gag order on former President Donald Trump.
According to Politico, the ACLU’s recent statement has surprised many of its supporters. Throughout his presidency, the organization was often considered one of Trump’s primary adversaries, frequently resorting to legal action to challenge and block numerous policies.
When Joe Biden’s Deep State loses the ACLU…
“ACLU sides with Trump calling gag order in federal case 'unconstitutionally overbroad'” | Washington Examiner https://t.co/AUuXpQL4ON
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) October 26, 2023
However, in a newly filed friend-of-the-court brief, the ACLU has aligned with Trump’s argument, asserting that U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s proposed gag order infringes upon his First Amendment rights to free speech and also impinges upon the public’s right to hear his expressions.
The ACLU released a statement, saying, “The obvious and unprecedented public interest in this prosecution, as well as the widespread political speech that it has generated and will continue to generate, only underscores the need to apply the most stringent First Amendment standard to a restraint on Defendant’s speech rights.”
The ACLU recommended to Judge Chutkan that she reconsider her order, specifically pointing out certain sections that they deemed overly vague and potentially impossible to decipher.
They singled out a particular provision that prohibited President Trump from making statements that might be interpreted as singling out Special Counsel Jack Smith, prosecutors, court staff or the case’s attorneys and witnesses as potential targets.
The ACLU said, “Reading the order, Defendant cannot possibly know what he is permitted to say and what he is not.”
Chutkan attempted to rationalize her ruling by asserting that Trump’s status as a prominent presidential candidate doesn’t distinguish him from any other defendant in a criminal case.
However, the ACLU disagreed, emphasizing the elevated public interest surrounding his case and others in the legal system.
The ACLU explained, “Defendant’s ability to speak publicly about the substance of the prosecution, even including potential witnesses and testimony, is in many ways inextricable from the 2024 presidential campaign in which he is a declared candidate.”
Judge Chutkan has granted a temporary suspension of her own gag order while President Trump’s legal team appeals the order. In addition to this case, President Trump is also entangled in three other legal proceedings—one in Washington D.C., another in New York City and one in Atlanta, Georgia. These cases center around his endeavors to address alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election and allegations of “inciting insurrection.”
Surprisingly, despite the multitude of charges brought against him, President Trump’s approval ratings have consistently risen each time a new indictment has been disclosed. This trend holds true for polling related to the GOP presidential primary as well as general election matchups against Joe Biden.