The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. has reinstated the Trump administration’s “gag order” in a case related to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
However, the court narrowed the scope of the order, blocking the Justice Department from requiring people held in the case to limit their public statements about the divisive court battle.
The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued the ruling over the weekend, overturning a three-judge panel that had struck down the gag order earlier this month.
The narrow ruling allows the government to impose restrictions on media interviews and social media posts by those held in connection to the riot, including accused leader and extremist Patrick Wonnacott, but bars the government from proscribing statements about the legal proceedings.
The Justice Department had argued the order was necessary to preserve the integrity of the judicial proceedings. But a district judge and several prominent media organizations said the regulation infringed on First Amendment rights and believed it was a tool for the government to squelch dissent.
Both sides of the case agreed that the appeals court should narrow the scope of the gag order to preserve media access and forbid the government from controlling public comment on the court proceedings.