Jonathan Turley says judge's gag order against Trump wouldn't survive SCOTUS review

 April 1, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has been hit with several gag orders in his various legal cases.

One of the most recent partial gag orders against the former president was handed down by Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing DA Alvin Bragg's hush money case against Trump.

The gag order generated an instant response from Trump and his lawyers, but even some legal experts said that should the gag order rise to the level of the U.S. Supreme Court, it probably wouldn't survive.

According to Newsweek, one of those experts was Fox News legal analyst Jonathan Turley, who stated in a recent interview with host Shannon Bream that the high court would look "harshly" at Merchan's gag order in this particular case.

In the interview, Turley stated that the partial gag order was rife with "major constitutional problems" before explaining to Bream in detail why he believes that's the case.

"I think SCOTUS would look harshly at this order as it's currently written. If you want to try the leading presidential candidate right before the presidential election, you have to have some recognition that there's a political speech element here, which is paramount.

Turley, an attorney and professor at the George Washington University Law School, added, "And I don't think the judge recognized that with this order."

The "political speech element" referred to by Turley is what many believe is the sole reason why Trump is facing so many legal issues, let alone gag orders, as a way to silence his momentum ahead of the 2024 election later this year.

Newsweek noted:

Merchan, who is presiding over the criminal trial, imposed a gag order on Trump on Tuesday, barring him from making public statements about those involved in the case, excluding himself and Bragg. Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is set to testify in the trial, and Daniels are protected under the order.

But because the gag order didn't specify the family members of Judge Merchan or DA Bragg, Trump took full advantage of it and called out the judge's daughter for her anti-Trump activism in the past.

Bragg's office asked the court, in the form of a letter, to include family members of the judge and himself.

"The People believe that the March 26 Order is properly read to protect family members of the Court," the letter from Bragg's office states. "This Court should now clarify or confirm that the Order protects family members of the Court, the District Attorney, and all other individuals mentioned in the Order. Such protection is amply warranted."

Not surprisingly, Bragg got his way, as the judge extended the gag order to include his requests. Only time will tell what happens next.