Skip to content

Voters By Wide Margins Say Court Gag Orders Against Trump Violate His Right To Free Speech - Even Democrats Say The 2024 Front-Runner Shouldn't Be Muzzled

Fully 56 percent of voters say that violates Trump's rights to freedom of speech.

Clockwise - Letitia James, AG of New York, President Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, Judge Arthur F. Engoron, Supreme Court 1st Judicial District in New York

By James Reinl, The | November 8, 2023

Americans by wide margins say gag orders imposed by judges against Donald Trump violate the former president's right to free speech, a Poll shows.

Fully 56 percent of voters say orders barring Trump from commenting on the cases against him undermine his first-amendment guarantees, our survey reveals.

Another 32 percent said the orders did not infringe his rights, while 12 percent said they were not sure.

Our exclusive poll of more than 1,000 US adults comes as Trump, his lawyers, and voters grapple with the implications of curtailing the speech of a prominent politician.

Voters by wide margins say the courts' gag orders unfairly muzzle Trump
Even Democrats say the former president should be allowed to speak his mind

Gag orders are not unheard of in high-profile cases, but courts have never had to wrestle before with whether they can curb the speech of a leading presidential candidate.

Trump's supporters have posted angrily online against the orders.

Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican congresswoman, called a gag order 'unconstitutional and illegal.'

Trump was effectively being blocked from revealing problems in a civil case against him, Stefanik said.


Right-wing commentator Libby Emmons said the order 'only goes in one direction: to silence Trump.'

Trump has been hit with gag orders in two of the cases against him.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order on October 16, restricting the Republican's speech about those involved in the case accusing him of scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss.

The order prohibited Trump from targeting Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecuting his case, or witnesses who might be called to testify about his efforts to upend his election defeat.

A federal appeals court temporarily lifted that order on Friday, and set arguments for November 20 before a panel of three judges — all appointees of Democratic presidents.

Trump this week testified in the civil fraud trial against him, where he has been fined twice for breaking a gag order. Photo: Screenshot

Trump's lawyers say they will seek relief from the US Supreme Court if the appeals court denies his request.

The order violates Trump's First Amendment rights and those of 'over 100 million Americans who listen to him,' they said.

The defense has said prosecutors have provided no evidence that potential witnesses or anyone else felt intimidated by the former president's social media posts.

Arthur Engoron slapped a separate gag order on Trump during the New York civil fraud trial over inflated property values by his family business.

Engoron has twice fined Trump for violating the order, which bars him from criticizing the judge's law clerk.

On November 3, he expanded the order to cover Trump's lawyers.

A gag order barred Trump from targeting Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecuting his case. Photo: Getty
US District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order against Trump on October 16. Photo: Wikimedia, ,

Our Poll shows that while voters are split about the orders, most side with Trump.

Our respondents, especially men and those living in the South and the Northeast, called it a violation of his right to free speech.

Seven in ten Republicans said the gag order went too far, as did a sizeable 57 percent of Democratic voters.

Our survey was carried out from November 1-3, before Judge Chutkan's order was temporarily lifted.

It is the latest polling boost the Trump campaign has enjoyed this week. 

Polls by The New York Times and Siena College found that President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is trailing Trump in five of the six most important swing states one year before the 2024 election. 

The results show Biden losing to Trump, his likeliest rival, by margins of four to 10 percentage points among registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. 

But Trump's legal woes persist. He is facing four criminal cases and has made disparaging comments about prosecutors in each of them, as well as against the New York state attorney general who brought civil fraud charges against him.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges that he plotted to interfere unlawfully in the counting of votes and block the congressional certification of his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.

Original article link

Our performance in 2020 for accuracy as rated by Washington Post:

Source: Washington Post