“No president in history has repeatedly threatened the press as Donald Trump does on a regular basis. Under long-standing First Amendment precedents, these threats violate freedom of press and the First Amendment. This lawsuit addresses an urgent threat to our Constitution.”

Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley Law

“In filing this action, PEN America is standing up for the most fundamental values of American democracy. If the President of the United States can lawfully punish those who criticize him, then we surrender the core principles of the First Amendment. This lawsuit is critical to preserving what our nation stands for.”

Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School

“President Trump has a pattern of trying to use the power of the federal government to punish the press for coverage he dislikes. Make no mistake, this should alarm us. Lobbing insults at reporters is one thing, but this kind of tactic represents a far more serious threat to press freedom. When a president crosses the line from insulting the press to turning the wheels of government as a means to retaliate against news organizations for their reporting, the potential First Amendment violations become very real. This lawsuit is asking the courts to make clear that the president cannot violate the Constitution’s vital protections for press freedom.”

Sonja West, Otis Brumby Distinguished Professor in First Amendment Law at the University of Georgia Law School

“The First Amendment bars the president from using, or even threatening to use, the powers of the federal government to retaliate against speakers he doesn’t like. It also bars the government from using intimidation, whether through actions or threatened actions, to influence editorial judgment. This is an important lawsuit to protect the free speech that makes the United States a democracy and keeps us free.”

Berin Szóka, President and Founder of TechFreedom

“We share PEN America’s grave concern about the President’s use of the levers of government power to retaliate against media companies for the content of their coverage. Our democracy depends on an independent press to offer critical coverage of issues of public interest, including the workings of government. While the president is free to criticize the press and disagree with reporters, a dangerous line is crossed when financial regulation and other levers of power are mobilized to turn such criticism into retaliatory action designed to intimidate and silence.”

Chris Finan, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship

“President’s Trump has repeatedly used and threatened to use the machinery of government to punish reporting he does not like. The First Amendment precludes him from using the government action to penalize the press in retaliation for their reporting. PEN America’s lawsuit is an important effort to stop President Trump’s unconstitutional actions.”

Jameel Jaffer, Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University

“AAP has a long tradition of defending America’s First Amendment freedoms, which are the bedrock of the publishing community and our constitutional democracy. We commend PEN’s unrelenting commitment to protecting the role of the press and the rights of the public, while also recognizing the President’s right to criticize speech with which he may not agree.”

Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers

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