President Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in a Thursday court filing that protesters “have no right” to “express dissenting views” at his campaign rallies because such protests infringed on his First Amendment rights.
The filing comes in a case brought by three protesters who allege they were roughed up and ejected from a March 2016 Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, by Trump supporters who were incited by the then-candidate’s calls from the stage to “get 'em out of here!”
Lawyers for Trump’s campaign have argued that his calls to remove the protesters were protected by the First Amendment. But the federal district court judge hearing the case issued a ruling late last month questioning that argument, as well as the claim that Trump didn’t intend for his supporters to use force.
The ruling cleared the case to proceed into discovery and towards a trial.
Thursday’s filing by Trump’s campaign lawyers asks the judge to pause the proceedings and allow Trump’s legal team to appeal the ruling to a higher court “before subjecting the President to ‘unique’ and extraordinary burdens of litigation.”
Specifically, Trump’s lawyers want the appeals court to reconsider whether Trump’s calls to remove the protesters were protected speech under the First Amendment and whether it’s reasonable to construe the calls as an incitement to violence.
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