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Less than a week after a lower court upheld the gag order the state judge overseeing his civil fraud case had placed on him, former President Donald Trump appealed it to the New York Court of Appeals.
The Washington Examiner reported that Trump has been under a gag order since the first weeks of his trial, which began in October, due to posts on social media referencing Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron and his staff. The Examiner noted that Trump’s filing appeared on the New York Appellate Division, First Judicial Department docket on Monday, which revealed the former president’s intent to appeal the lower court’s ruling to the state’s highest court.
“Engoron contends his principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, has sustained harassing and antisemitic messages ever since Trump posted a picture of her with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and referred to her as his ‘girlfriend’ on Oct. 4, the second day of the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization,” the outlet explained.
“Trump was ordered to delete the social media post and entered a gag order against him that day. Engoron has ruled Trump has violated the order twice and fined him a total of $15,000 so far, a fee Trump has already paid out,” the report continued. “The order has since been expanded to block Trump’s attorneys from commenting about his communications with the clerk, who sits next to Engoron during the trial.”
Meanwhile, in addition to the federal and state charges facing Trump, the former president is also dealing with a legal onslaught to keep him off the 2024 ballot in several states.
A lengthy list of parties, including over a dozen attorneys general from states controlled by Republicans, have filed briefs in a legal challenge to the constitutional eligibility of former president Donald Trump to appear on Colorado’s 2024 ballot.
Following last month’s ruling against six voters arguing that Trump’s role in inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. was unfounded, the Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case this week. An insurrection clause from the Civil War bars him from the Capitol, Colorado News reported.
In her ruling from November 17, Judge Sarah B. Wallace stated that the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 does not apply to the presidency, even though she found that Trump “engaged in insurrection” according to that provision. This provision forbids someone from holding office again if they do so after taking an oath to support the Constitution.
Both parties quickly appealed the case to the state’s highest court. According to the plaintiffs, who have the support of the Washington, DC-based nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, Wallace’s conclusion that the president is not included in the list of “officer(s) of the United States” in Section 3 is “nonsensical.” Lawyers for Trump have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to examine several aspects of the case, including the conclusion that the former president was involved in an alleged insurrection.
Several non-affiliated parties have submitted briefs in favor of or against the case’s resolution with the Colorado Supreme Court. Plenty of other states have also filed similar challenges to Trump’s 2024 candidacy, and everyone is waiting for the federal government to decide the matter by the highest court in the land.
The plaintiffs’ arguments were rejected by the court in a similar case to the ones in Minnesota and Michigan, according to a group of nineteen states leaning toward the Republican party, spearheaded by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.
“The 14th Amendment entrusts Insurrection Clause questions to Congress, not state officials or state courts,” the Nov. 29 brief states. “Allowing each state and its courts to determine eligibility using malleable standards would create an unworkable patchwork of eligibility requirements for the president.”
In a post on the X platform, Rokita called challenges to Trump’s eligibility an “assault on our republic.”