SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an amicus brief, led by the States of Iowa and West Virginia, in USA v Trump. The brief, which was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, supports the former president’s constitutional right to protected political speech.
Earlier this fall, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order that restricted former President Trump’s verbal and written statements regarding “individuals involved in the judicial process” in one of the unprecedented prosecutions of a former President of the United States. This order was stayed until the appeals court hears arguments on the matter later this month.
The coalition of attorneys general argues that the district court’s order is too broad and vague, and that it interferes with the ongoing presidential election. It urges the appeals court to reverse the district court decision.
In the brief, the States write that “the Fifth Circuit recognized that restricting officials’ speech obstructs their ‘crucial interest in listening to their citizens.’ When the ‘federal government coerces or substantially encourages third parties to censor certain viewpoints, it hampers the states’ right to hear their constituents and, in turn, reduces their ability to respond to the concerns of their constituents.’ So if President Trump wants to weigh in on a subject covered by the prior restraint and is restrained from doing so, his constituents will be denied by the federal government an opportunity to have him listen.”
Joining Utah, Iowa, and West Virginia were the States of Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.