Donnie And Melania: Laughing-Stocks, Yet Again, Inside Beltway — For Not Understanding Government Is… “Serving” — Not “Reigning”.

The highly-esteemed Paul Weiss firm has filed a killer of a memo of law — this morning, in DC federal court — in its likely prevailing effort to dismiss Melania’s suit against its client, Stephanie W. Wolkoff, over the latter’s tell-all book.

The most preposterous part of Melania & Baby T.’s claim is that they would say they can (as government agents) restrict freedom of speech about matters of substantial public concern, despite creating no formal role in the government — nor any access to classified information, for Ms. Wolkoff. See Amendment, First. Here’s a bit of the material arguments, on First Amendment grounds:

. . .[T]he Complaint should be dismissed because the confidentiality restrictions in the Agreement violate Ms.Wolkoff’s First Amendment rights and are unconstitutional. A government restriction on speech must “protect a substantial government interest unrelated to the suppression of free speech,” and be “narrowly drawn to ‘restrict speech no more than is necessary to protect the substantial government interest.’” McGehee v. Casey, 718 F.2d 1137, 1142–43 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (citations omitted).

The Government cannot properly use non-disclosure agreements to censor government employees or service providers in matters not involving classified information or national security interests. See id. at 1141 (“The government has no legitimate interest in censoring unclassified materials”); Bolton, 2020 WL 5866623, at *8 (“government may not prevent [Defendant] from publishing unclassified materials”); Nat’l Fed’n Of Fed. Emp. v. United States, 695 F. Supp. 1196, 1205 (D.D.C. 1988) (finding unconstitutional government’s restriction on publication of undefined, “classifiable” information). Since the Complaint does not — and cannot — allege that Ms. Wolkoff even had access to classified or national security-related information, let alone disclosed such information in her book, the Government cannot establish a legitimate and substantial interest in restricting Ms. Wolkoff’s freedom of expression.

Perhaps recognizing this fatal flaw in its claims, the Government attempts to contort the First Lady’s personal interest in limiting negative publicity into a governmental interest in protecting the internal deliberations of the executive branch (which appears to be a claim of executive privilege, without actually using the phrase). The Government’s position is meritless because no such governmental interest can be asserted on behalf of a person [Melania] who is not a government official. . . .

How many days are left?! Grinning — at all the lil’ ice skaters, far away. . . .


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