The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently suggested that President Donald Trump’s D.C. gag order may be overly broad. This means the court may order the president to pare back the decree, which currently restricts the city from publishing any information about the president or his administration.
The order, which was signed in 2017, barred D.C. officials from publishing any public information related to the president, including his scheduling, financial documents, and rules made by the Oval Office. It also requires the city to obtain approval from the White House before releasing any documents or information related to the administration.
The court’s suggestion comes as a response to a lawsuit filed by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which claimed that the president’s executive order violates the First Amendment. The organization argued that the order suppresses the free speech of D.C. officials, and restricts vital information about the Trump administration from the public.
Now, the three-judge panel suggested that Trump should at least trim down the decree, which could lessen its constitutional issues. The judges noted that there may be “overbreadth” in the provision, and that the White House should gauge the “fitness” of the document.
Though the judges don’t have any jurisdiction to force Trump to alter the order, they believe that his administration would be better off with a more limited version of the decree. Until then, the finalized version of the executive order remains in place.