The judge overseeing a massive lawsuit against the GOP frontrunner for president next year just got trumped by a higher court. The judge has made questionable statements regarding the former president and now he must walk back an oppressive order.
Certain rights are guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution and judges don’t get to make up new rules to fit their personal opinions. The judge in the civil fraud lawsuit against former President Donald Trump was put in check after he punished Trump for exercising his constitutional rights.
Trump can now speak freely without fear of more fines or the threat of being sent to jail. Appeals court Judge David Friedman issued a stay of a partial gag order Thursday, which was put in place by Judge Arthur Engoran in October. Friedman cited concerns over free speech in lifting the gag order.
Engoran has ruled from on high in the civil fraud trial stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the former president and the Trump Organization. Engoron, who didn’t like Trump’s public statements about the trial, imposed the partial gag order to block all parties from making derogatory statements about his court staff.
Trump isn’t one to hold his tongue on hot issues and it got him into trouble with the judge. Engoran fined Trump $5,000 for violating the order on social media on Oct. 20 and again on Oct. 25 for another $10,000. The judge then threatened to jail the former president for any future violations.
The lower court’s authority to clam up Trump outside the court was questioned by the higher court. Friedman argued that gag orders were used more in criminal trials where a jury could be influenced. Friedman tossed the gag order during an emergency hearing Thursday and said the order also no longer applies to Trump’s lawyers.
Trump’s attorneys made note that they do not try to keep the former president from exercising his First Amendment rights. Trump let loose on his Truth Social online media platform with a scathing commentary against the trial judge.
From Fox News:
“Judge Arthur Engoron has just been overturned (stayed!) by the New York State Appellate Division (Appeals Court), for the 4th TIME (on the same case!). His Ridiculous and Unconstitutional Gag Order, not allowing me to defend myself against him and his politically biased and out of control, Trump Hating Clerk, who is sinking him and his Court to new levels of LOW, is a disgrace,” Trump wrote.
Trump went on to say he did “nothing wrong” as he called out the state attorney general for running on a “Get Trump” campaign to get elected. He railed against the trial court as protecting the attorney general from criticism.
“They are defending the Worst and Least Respected Attorney General in the United States, Letitia James, who is a Worldwide disgrace, as is her illegal Witch Hunt against me. The Radical and Unprecedented actions of Judge Engoron will keep BUSINESSES and JOBS forever out of New York State,” Trump said.
- Appeals court questions authority of judge in Trump civil fraud case.
- Trump has been fined and threatened with jail for speaking his mind.
- A higher court says the gag order is out based on First Amendment rights.
Source: Fox News