Legal experts say judge continuing Trump gag order AFTER THE VERDICT is ‘untethered’ to ‘rationale’

Judge Juan Merhcan has refused to lift the gag order on Donald Trump and supporters of the former president – and the Constitution – are crying foul.

Legal experts and others denounced the ruling of a New York appeals court on Tuesday to keep in place Merchan’s order, which was set before Trump’s hush money trial had even begun.

New York’s highest court dismissed the appeal “upon the ground that no substantial constitutional question is directly involved.” Attorneys for the former president argued that the order restricted Trump’s “core political speech on matters of central importance at the height of his presidential campaign, where he is the leading candidate, and thus it violates the fundamental right of every American voter to hear” from him “on matters of enormous public importance.”

But with the trial over, and Trump awaiting sentencing on July 11 after being found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records, many feel the presumptive Republican nominee should no longer be subject to the gag order.

(Video Credit: Fox32)

“President Trump and his legal team will continue to fight against the unconstitutional Gag Order imposed by Justice Merchan,” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement.

“The Gag Order wrongfully silences the leading candidate for President of the United States, President Trump, at the height of his campaign. The Gag Order applies only to President Trump and not to any of his political opponents, critics, or even Crooked Joe Biden,” he added. “The Election Interfering Gag Order violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and all American voters, who have a fundamental right to hear his message.”

Legal experts like Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, agree.

“You have a local New York judge effectively limiting what the leading presidential candidate can say in the months leading up to an election,” the law scholar told Fox News Digital.

“The continuation of the gag order seems untethered from any compelling rationale, particularly in light of the election,” Turley said.

The legal analyst found it “deeply concerning that Judge Merchan would continue a gag order long after the verdict has been reached and the jury dismissed the case.”

“Putting aside the questionable value of the continuation of the gag order, in this case, Judge Merchan is ignoring the countervailing cost for the political system,” Turley added.

The fact that Trump is being subjected to the ongoing muzzling of his speech while other high-profile defendants in New York have faced no such restriction further highlights the double standard.

“The Manhattan DA’s office has charged all kinds of high-profile criminal defendants throughout its history, ranging from celebrities to gangsters, such as Lucky Luciano, the head of La Commissione, and they weren’t silenced the way former President Trump was,” constitutional attorney John Shu told Fox News Digital.

“Neither was John Gotti, the former head of the Gambino crime family and known as the ‘Teflon Don,’” he added, referring to the federal case.”Say what you want about Donald Trump, but he’s not a mobster.”

“The trial is over and there’s no chance that Judge Merchan is going to vacate the verdict and grant a retrial,” said the attorney who served in both Bush administrations. “Both the verdict and the gag order now will go through the New York state appellate system as two separate appeals.”

Shu noted that typically “anytime a litigant asks the highest court in a jurisdiction to step in and shortcut the process, it has to be something very unusual for them to agree.”

Trump can still petition the high court to hear the appeal of the gag order and has 30 days to do so.

Frieda Powers

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