A Trump presidency was always going to spell disaster for civil rights, but no one predicted it was going to get this bad. Yesterday, President Donald Trump’s lawyer argued in court that it was illegal for people to protest against the President.
The Trump lawyer’s court filing argues that protesters “have no right” to “express dissenting views” at Trump campaign rallies, supposedly because this violated the President’s first amendment rights.
According to Trump’s lawyers, the protesters “obviously interfered with the Trump campaign’s First Amendment right” by “vigorously expressing their disdain for Mr. Trump,” which included chanting, holding up pictures of Trump’s face on the body of a pig and other messages.
The filing is in response to a case brought by three protesters, who allege that they were violently ejected from a March 2016 Trump rally in Louisville Kentucky after supporters were incited by the then-presidential candidate’s calls to “get ’em out of here!”
Trump’s lawyers have argued that Trump’s calls to remove the protesters were protected by the First Amendment. This ridiculous assertion was struck down by court judge who questioned the validity of the argument alongside the claim that Trump didn’t intend for his supporters to use force.
How else could Trump have intended for his supporters to eject these protesters?
The judge has cleared the case to proceed to discovery, and then to trial. The Thursday court filing asks the judge to pause the proceedings to allow Trump’s legal team to appeal the ruling to a higher court “before subjecting the President to ‘unique’ and extraordinary burdens of litigation.”
Clearly Trump’s legal team are just stalling for as long as possible.
Trump’s lawyer wants the appeals court to reconsider, specifically, whether Trump was protected by the First Amendment when he called on his protesters to physically remove protesters from his rally.
They argue that since Trump added “Don’t hurt ’em,” after telling his protesters to “get ’em out of here,” Trump’s comments couldn’t be classed as inciting aggression.
The lawyers concluded that:
Even if Mr. Trump implicitly instructed the audience to remove the protesters by using force if necessary, his speech was still entirely lawful and protected under the First Amendment unless he advocated a greater degree of force than was necessary under the circumstances. Absent that type of unlawful advocacy, Mr. Trump cannot be held liable for incitement. It makes no difference whether the crowd reacted with unlawful violence beyond what Mr. Trump advocated.
Clearly, Trump and his lawyers either don’t remember precisely what is written in the First Amendment or are happy to bend their understanding of it to suit their own purposes.
The amendment ensures that individuals have the right to speak freely and to assemble peaceably. This applies to both Trump and his protesters, regardless of whether the childish President likes it or not.
Welcome to America, Mr. Trump.