Howell did not go as far as to agree that journalists employed by the state are granted all of the same protections as private-sector journalists, but she did reject Pack’s argument that federal journalists have no First Amendment rights. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's Grayson Clary called the ruling a "victory."
On November 24th, Fox News settled a lawsuit brought by the parents of Seth Rich, a former Democratic Committee staffer who a Fox reporter falsely accused of leaking thousands of Democratic Party emails to Wikileaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
On November 20th, the City of Delano, California agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by four high school students who alleged that Delano police officers violated their First Amendment right to record police.
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign sued the local broadcast station in April for running an ad that made it seem like the President had called the coronavirus a hoax. The settlement does not include an apology from Trump, but one of the TV station's attorney framed it as a win for local news.
The new law broadly protects speech on public matters and ensures that defendants targeted with SLAPP lawsuits recover legal fees.
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) has filed yet another defamation suit against a media company. On November 11th, Nunes filed a libel suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against The Washington Post and reporter Ellen Nakashima. According to the complaint, The Post published an article that “falsely accused” Nunes of “dishonesty, deception, lying to the American public, spreading disinformation, lack of integrity, and ethical improprieties.”
A federal judge in Atlanta is giving President Donald Trump’s lawyers the opportunity to submit an amended complaint in its libel lawsuit against CNN. Filed in March 2020, the President’s lawsuit alleged that CNN columnist Larry Noble had defamed him in a June 2019 opinion piece when he wrote that “The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia's help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”
Two students who were prohibited from wearing pro-gun t-shirts in school can now move forward with their First Amendment claims after a federal judge found that the shirts were protected speech.