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Renowned Law Professor Turley Deems Gag Order on Trump as Unconstitutional

Turley Warns Against Dangerous Precedent in Trump Gag Order


Renowned legal scholar, Jonathan Turley, stands firm in his criticism of the imposed ‘gag order’ pertaining to former President Donald Trump, deeming it as an ‘unconstitutional’ directive. Speaking on ‘The Ingraham Angle’, a platform hosted by Laura Ingraham on Fox News, Turley expressed his dissent, dissecting the judicial order that an appeals court placed a momentary hold on.

He communicated, ‘They embraced, perhaps out of an overflow of caution, to authorize this interim halt until they can scrutinize it thoroughly.’ He reiterated strong beliefs on the potential significance of this situation due to the perceived unconstitutional nature of the court order.

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Turley drew attention to the fact that the order was rebuked, not only by him, but also by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Interestingly, the ACLU has often found itself in opposition to Trump’s decisions during his term. Despite their past differences, Turley noted, ‘The ACLU voiced its viewpoints: This order plainly contradicts the Constitution.’ Notably, this criticism occurred just a day after the imposition of the gag order.

Underscoring deeper concerns, Turley penned an opinion piece, delineating his thoughts on why the directive is ‘overbroad and dangerous.’ The esteemed professor declared, ‘Every individual who values the freedom of speech should be mindful of this alarming development.’

While appreciating that appellate success may likely favor Judge Chutkan, he strongly advocated for an overturn, re-stressing the ‘overbroad and dangerous’ nature of the order.

Turley shared his thoughts on the rampant criticisms directed towards Trump for his personal affronts against opponents and judges alike. Exemplifying this point, Trump continued to persistently question the credibility of Special Counsel Jack Smith and Judge Chutkan through his notable labelling of them as ‘deranged’ and ‘biased, Trump-hating’, respectively.

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Smith has been fervent in his call for a gag order, even amidst the pressing debate regarding potential misuse of the criminal justice system against President Trump and other Republicans.

Earlier this week, in an unprecedented decision, Judge Chutka issued a partial gag order, explicitly refusing to tolerate a purported ‘smear campaign’ by Trump.

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This campaign included alleged attempts to discredit public servants dutifully performing their roles. Chutkan highlighted, ‘It would be unthinkable to allow any other criminal defendant to behave similarly in a case, and I would not allow this to happen now.’ Furthermore, her stance echoed a trend in her past rulings, emphasizing the necessary limits imposed regardless of the defendant’s identity.

The consequences of these orders are far-reaching, posing a limit to both parties and legal counsels in voicing objections to perceived governmental misconduct.

This observation led to Turley’s compelling comparison between the current scenario and historical injustices, including the infamous persecutions like the one experienced by publisher John Peter Zenger 290 years ago in 1733. Turley reaffirmed his stance on the freedom of speech as a fundamental right recognized post such abuses.

Against this backdrop, former President Trump secured a significant victory. In a turn of events during his continuous battle centered on the ‘election interference’ case in Washington D.C., the preceding freeze imposed on the gag order marked a notable progression. A temporary halt was issued by a federal appeals court to the initial gag order, as reported by CNN.

In an unambiguous declaration, a panel consisting of three judges at the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals stated they were ‘provisionally halting the gag order enacted by District Judge Tanya Chutkan.’ Their reasoning for this pause was to allot a necessary interval for the court to thoroughly consider Trump’s appeal.

The panel included Judges Patricia Millet and Cornelia Pillard – both appointments under Barack Obama, and Brad Garcia, an appointee of Joe Biden, who agreed to expedite their consideration of Trump’s appeal and proposed to hear arguments on November 20.

Naturally, former President Trump’s legal representation protested against the perceived ‘unconstitutional’ nature of the gag order. They characterized the direction for a gag order by the prosecution as fraught with hostility towards Trump’s distinctive perspective and his unceasing criticisms of the government.

They argued, ‘The Gag Order epitomizes an unconstitutional aversion towards President Trump’s viewpoint. An immediate stay on the order is warranted.’

In distinct yet related developments, attempts were made by the prosecutors to penalize Trump with imprisonment on charges of non-compliance with the gag order.

However, this attempt was promptly dismissed by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in October. Newsweek revealed that Judge Chutkan dismissed a formal request from the Department of Justice to incarcerate Trump for violating the re-imposed gag order.

Judge Chutkan declined to alter the conditions related to Trump’s release based on the request from federal prosecutors.

She penned in a clarifying footnote to the reinstated gag order, ‘Assuming that the request complies procedurally, the court believes it unnecessary to approve such measures to ensure compliance at present.’ She elaborately rejected any assumptions that may have led to the appeal to lock Trump in jail for disregarding a gag order.


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