A New York appeals court cleared the way on Wednesday for an editor to resume distribution to booksellers of a revealing book by Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, despite objections from the President’s brother.
The appeals division of the New York State Supreme Court said it was lifting a temporary restriction that a judge imposed on Simon & Schuster the day before seeking to block the distribution of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the Most Dangerous Man of the world.
Although the book was scheduled to be published on July 28, Simon & Schuster said that thousands of copies of the first edition of the 75,000-copy book had already been shipped to bookstores and others.
The appeals ruling, written by Judge Alan Scheinkman, left restrictions against Mary Trump, the book’s author and the president’s niece, until at least a hearing on July 10.
The president’s brother Robert Trump said he agreed with family members not to write about their relationships without permission.
Robert Trump had sued Mary Trump for blocking the publication of a promoted book to contain an “insider perspective” of “countless holiday meals,” “family interactions” and “family events.”
An email was sent Wednesday seeking comment to Robert Trump’s attorney. The appeals court noted that it was ruling after hearing oral arguments from attorneys for Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster and before Robert Trump’s attorneys filed opposition documents.
Scheinkman left a restriction that blocked Mary Trump and any of his agents from distributing the book, but the court made it clear that it was not considering the publisher to be an agent, although that issue could be decided in later proceedings in the lower court.
“The evidence presented is insufficient for this court to determine whether the plaintiff is likely to be able to establish that claim,” the appeals court said in an opinion written by Scheinkman.
In court documents, the publisher said it was not aware of an agreement between Mary Trump and her relatives until she was sued.
In a statement, Simon & Schuster said it was satisfied with the ruling, which it said would allow Mary Trump to tell her story.
The publisher said the book was of “great interest and importance to national discourse that deserves to be published for the benefit of the American public.”
He added: “As everyone knows, there are well-established precedents against pre-publication restrictions and pre-publication mandates, and we remain confident that the preliminary mandate will be denied.”
Mary Trump’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous Jr, a First Amendment freedom of speech specialist, said in a statement that it was “very good news that the previous restriction on Simon & Schuster has been vacated.”
He added that he believed a similar finding was necessary for Mary Trump, “based on the first amendment and basic contractual law.”