Donald Trump Claims New York’s New Sexual Assault Law is Unconstitutional

Donald Trump will argue in court that New York's Adult Survivors Act is unconstitutional, as he attempts to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of a 1990s sexual assault.

Donald Trump dressed in suit and red tie
Donald Trump was sued under a new state act. (Photo by Emily Elconin/Getty Images)

Donald Trump will argue in court that New York’s Adult Survivors Act is unconstitutional, after the former president was sued for sexual assault under the recently enacted bill.

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The law, which went into effect in November, gives survivors of sexual abuse a one-year window to bypass the statute of limitations and file claims regarding decades-old attacks. It parallels New York’s Child Victims Act from 2019, which saw more than 10,000 cases filed by childhood survivors of sexual assault.

On Nov. 24, E. Jean Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, filed a suit claiming Trump assaulted her in the 1990s at a Manhattan department store. In a hearing today (Dec. 21) in a Manhattan federal court regarding Carroll’s suit , Michael Madaio, Trump’s attorney, said he planned to argue the Adult Survivors Act is unconstitutional. He also mentioned the defense’s plan to file a motion to dismiss the case, to which Judge Lewis Kaplan responded, “I wouldn’t count on that,” as reported by Politico.

Trump previously made his plans to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit clear on Dec. 19, in a joint proposed discovery plan where his attorneys said the act itself was basis for dismissal. “The Adult Survivors Act is an improper ‘claim revival’ statute which violates the United States Constitution and/or the New York State Constitution,” reads the court filing.

Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, declined to comment on the matter.

Numerous other powerful figures have also had cases brought against them under the new act, including Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records; Robert Hadden, a former Columbia University gynecologist; and Bill Cosby, who was sued by five women including two former co-stars.

Meanwhile, Leon Black, co-founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, was accused of sexually assaulting Cheri Pierson in 2002. Black has since requested sanctions against the law firm representing Pierson and another woman bringing claims against him, arguing the accusations are frivolous and substantiated.

Donald Trump Claims New York’s New Sexual Assault Law is Unconstitutional