DES MOINES, IOWA (November 15, 2023) — Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led an eighteen-State coalition today, calling on the courts to reverse the unconstitutional gag order against former President Trump. The gag order wrongfully stops former President Trump from speaking freely ahead of the approaching presidential election and denies Americans their right to hear what all the candidates have to say. 

The district court overstepped by issuing an unclear and broad gag order that prohibits former President Trump and his lawyers from criticizing the court, prosecutors, or even his primary opponents leading into the election. States like Iowa are home to upcoming caucuses and elections and have a vested interest in ensuring all political candidates can speak freely with voters. Support for the First Amendment and reversal of the gag order against President Trump ranges from civil-rights organizations like the ACLU to everyday citizens who value free speech. If the gag order is upheld, it sets a precedent that courts can silence their critics and undermine the First Amendment rights of all Americans.  

“All Americans have the right to free speech, including presidential candidates like President Donald Trump,” said AG Bird. “That right is secured for every American in the Constitution, regardless of whether we agree with each other. Unconstitutionally restricting a political candidate’s free speech while they run for office is a dangerous precedent and a disservice to American voters. As Attorney General, I will do my job to uphold the law and protect Americans’ right to hear from all the political candidates before heading to the ballot box.” 

AG Brenna Bird and AG Patrick Morrisey led a coalition of eighteen States, making the case that the gag order is unclear, infringes on former President Trump’s free-speech rights, and denies American voters the opportunity to hear all candidates speak freely ahead of an approaching presidential election. The coalition argues the court should reverse the gag order imposed on former President Trump. 

Iowa and West Virginia led the amicus brief joined by sixteen other States. 

Read the full amicus brief here.

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