Trump's free-speech legal folly has merely emboldened his critics - 2020-07-24
Donald Trump always had a problem with free speech. Back in the day, he sued reporter Tim O'Brien and the New York Times for allegedly underestimating his wealth. Trump claimed that he was worth billions, but O'Brien pegged the number at no more than $250m, not shoddy but also not jaw-dropping. In the end, New Jersey's courts tossed Trump's libel claim, but only after the tabloid star acknowledged that his personal balance sheet was influenced by his own guesstimates.
Time passes and some things don't change. Trump remains censorious as ever while the courts continue to deny him the relief he ultimately seeks – free media that fawns and flatters but does not actually hold him to account.
On Thursday, a federal judge sitting in Manhattan delivered yet another reminder that the Bill of Rights secures free speech. This time, the court also made clear that the federal prison system was not created to silence Trump's adversaries. In other words, two divorces and three wives do not make him Henry VIII.