Last week, a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel in Cincinnati ruled that protestors who attended a Trump campaign rally cannot sue President Donald Trump for having them physically removed. The incident occurred in March 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky, where the three protestors claim then-presidential candidate Trump tried to encourage rioting among his supporters when he told them to remove the protestors from the convention center. The protestors were allegedly manhandled by Trump supporters and forced to leave. They subsequently filed a civil suit against the Trump campaign.
While a trial judge initially rejected a motion to dismiss the case that was filed by Trump’s legal team, the Sixth Circuit handed down a unanimous ruling for the president on First Amendment grounds. The Court held that the First Amendment protects Trump’s speech because his words did not specifically advocate for violence against the protestors. Trump’s actions were also not imminently lawless, according to the Court.
The Court reached its ruling in part due to the protestors’ own admission that Trump’s removal instructions were followed by a warning not to hurt them. This admonition undercut the implication that Trump’s words were inciting violence, in the Court’s view, and ultimately formed a basis for its ruling.
Court Holds That Protestors Can’t Sue Trump For Getting Booted From Campaign Rally, New York Post, September 11, 2018
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