More than 80 alleged Nassar victims suing judge over gag order
by Brigid Kennedy
More than 80 alleged Larry Nassar victims and their attorneys are suing Ingham County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina after she to bar parties from talking publicly about material not already in the court record.
The order also bars attorneys from publicly commenting on the strengths or weaknesses of the other side’s case.
This is likely in response to comments made on Facebook by attorney Jamie White, which made headlines when Judge Julie O’Neill from Nassar’s case after “liking” the post.
The post, dated Feb. 14, said “Nassar’s defense is not strong.”
The civil action aims to lift the gag order, which court documents say deprive the plaintiffs of their constitutional rights and “silences political speech.”
The suit claims Nassar’s attorneys are “trampling (the plaintiffs’) First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression.”
It also alleges the plaintiffs in the cases against Nassar were not given a copy of the motion or informed of the hearing.
The gag order creates a de facto requirement for alleged Nassar victims to file a lawsuit before they can publicly tell their story, which violates the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Fed.
Election Comm’n stating “no citizen of the United States should be required to engage the services of an attorney to exercise his or her basic, fundamental constitutional rights,” according to the lawsuit.
Attorneys Stephen Drew, John Manly and Jamie White filed a motion for a temporary restraining order on Tuesday in an attempt to immediately halt the gag order.