Press-freedom advocates are raising the alarm that the arrests of the Atmore News’s publisher and reporter are unconstitutional.
You remember the story: police raided a small-town newspaper in Kansas, seizing computers and phones. Pilar Pedraza, a political reporter for KAKE Wichita, got an exclusive sit-down with the woman at the center of the story.
This week, a federal appellate panel unanimously blocked a California law banning gun ads aimed at minors, ruling that the measure likely ran afoul of the First Amendment.
A police raid without precedent on a weekly newspaper alarmed First Amendment advocates. The real story of how it happened, though, is rooted in the roiling tensions and complex history of a few key community members.
TV stations should view last week’s raid on the Marion County Kansas Record by local police and sheriff’s deputies as a warning shot. Every newsroom should have a plan to deal with potential search warrants with the station’s attorneys squarely on board.
Law enforcement officers in Kansas raided the office of a local newspaper and a journalist’s home on Friday, prompting outrage over what First Amendment experts are calling a likely violation of federal law.
Those who argue that the news media should pay a steeper price for mistakes are pushing to have a landmark Supreme Court ruling overturned.
William Barr: Victory for the plaintiff would severely weaken the First Amendment protection all news media enjoy.
Siding with Twitter, a federal appeals court refused to revive prominent conservative Rogan O’Handley’s claims that his First Amendment rights were violated when his account was banned due to tweets regarding the 2020 presidential election.
Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz said Sunday that the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against the network is a “major test of the First Amendment,” just weeks after announcing that Fox would not let him cover the case.
Quin Hillyer: “In Fox News’s defense against the well-publicized defamation lawsuits by voting machine companies, Fox needs to remind a jury that there’s a large distinction between what is unethical and what is illegal. If Fox eventually needs to appeal an unfavorable jury decision, the network should freely acknowledge that many of its shows are opinion rather than news because libel law gives more protection to opinions.”
The outcome of a case in federal court could help decide whether the First Amendment is a barrier to virtually any government efforts to stifle disinformation.
On Friday, the Supreme Court is expected to discuss whether to hear two cases that challenge laws in Texas and Florida barring online platforms from taking down certain political content. Next month, the court is scheduled to hear a case that questions Section 230, a 1996 statute that protects the platforms from liability for the content posted by their users. These cases could significantly affect the power and responsibilities of social media platforms.
Although Jones portrays the lawsuit against him as an assault on the First Amendment, the parents who sued him say his statements were so malicious and obviously false that they fell well outside the bounds of speech protected by the constitutional clause. Here’s a look at how the case relates to the First Amendment.
Without a federal right to abortion, questions about how states can regulate speech about it suddenly become much murkier.
The lawyers and First Amendment scholars who have made it their life’s work to defend the well-established but newly threatened constitutional protections for journalists don’t usually root for the media to lose in court. But that’s what is happening with a series of recent defamation lawsuits against right-wing outlets that legal experts say could be the most significant libel litigation in recent memory.
Robert Corn-Revere, a veteran First Amendment attorney and former legal assistant to late FCC Commissioner James Quello, argues that the right case might just unlock FCC ownership restrictions and that social media platforms deserve no less protection from government censors and regulators than any of their predecessors.
A unanimous 1974 Supreme Court decision said newspapers could not be forced to publish replies from politicians they had criticized.
Everyone knows that a fundamental principle of American democracy is the First Amendment — guaranteeing many freedoms to U.S. citizens including freedom of the press and freedom of speech. It is one of those concepts that underlies our society, but is often mentioned only in passing, and rarely considered in practice. Few people — even broadcasters and other media companies — have cause to think about First Amendment principles in their day-to-day operations. The concepts embodied by the First Amendment are almost a given — except when they aren’t.
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, which sits in an area of the city billed as America’s most historic square mile, will erect the tablet, previously displayed on the facade of the now-shuttered Newseum in Washington, in an atrium overlooking Independence Hall, the UNESCO World Heritage Site where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted.
Hustler magazine publisher Flynt was shot in a 1978 assassination attempt and left paralyzed from the waist down but refused to slow down, building a flamboyant reputation along with a fortune estimated at $100 million while championing First Amendment rights. He was 78.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has signaled he plans to follow President Trump’s lead and “clarify” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He also says he has been assured by FCC lawyers that the FCC has the authority to do so. ““As elected officials consider whether to change the law, the question remains: What does Section 230 currently mean?,” Pai said in a statement. “[M]any advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases shields social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the text of Section 230. The commission’s General Counsel has informed me that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret Section 230. Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning.”
NAB CEO Gordon Smith: “The work of our most-trusted sources of news — our local radio and TV stations, broadcast network partners and community and national newspapers — during the most important events of the past six months have shown how essential a free press is to keeping people informed. Yet, these historic times have also laid bare the existential threats facing journalism brought on by economic, cultural and political factors.”
The National Association of Broadcasters has launched a campaign to celebrate the 231st anniversary (Sept. 25) of the passage of the constitutional amendments that became the Bill of Rights, particularly the First Amendment that guaranteed free speech and a free press. The campaign focuses on the key role broadcasters play in upholding those freedoms, coming at a time when broadcasters are taking an economic hit.
Washington Post editorial: The president’s withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s renomination is a message to him, his fellow FCC commissioners and appointees across agencies of what happens when they dare to put the rule of law first, just as the president wants Twitter, and Facebook, and all influential companies on the Internet or off to know how carefully they must tread with him in charge. This is a flagrant assault on the First Amendment under the guise of defending it, and an assault on those who seek to defend the right of free expression.
A Seattle judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a little-known advocacy organization that hoped to bar Fox News Channel from transmitting its popular primetime opinion programs to its large cable-news audience. The Washington state group known as the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics, or WASHLITE, filed a suit in Superior Court of Washington State in April, calling for an injunction that would keep Fox News from “publishing further and false and deceptive content” about the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, whose members include the owners of CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, and CBS News, has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to support Fox News in its defense of a lawsuit filed by a group, WashLITE, critical of Fox News/Fox Business Network commentary on the coronavirus. WashLITE said that commentary is deceptive commercial speech in violation of consumer protection laws.
President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice lawyers are asking a New York federal judge to allow an immediate appeal of her decision that a suit accusing him of repeatedly violating the First Amendment can move forward — and they want to pause the proceedings in her courtroom while that appeal plays out.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has asked the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to speak out against Free Press’s emergency petition to the FCC to stop what that group said was “right-wing personalities” spreading disinformation about the pandemic.
Siding with Google, a federal judge has thrown out Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s free-speech lawsuit against the tech company over a brief suspension of her advertising account.
A federal appeals court in California on Wednesday ruled that privately operated internet platforms are free to censor content they don’t like. Though not unexpected, the unanimous decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco marks the most emphatic rejection of the argument that YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other giant tech platforms are bound by the First Amendment.
The state Supreme Court ruled that the public has a right to records in an earlier case in which Gray Television’s argued successfully that its CBS affiliate WCAX Burlington should not be forced to turn over to police footage of a shooting in January 2018. “This unanimous decision is an important victory not only for the Vermont media, but all Vermonters, who depend on journalists to be independent and not take sides in any kind of story,” said Lisa Loomis, president of the Vermont Press Association.
As legislation is being proposed to regulate Big Tech, broadcasters should realize that any regulation involving use of the internet by business will eventually affect television stations, particularly any encroachment on the First Amendment. This is a genuine concern because one of the bubbling issues is who can post what information.