On June 30th, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Tallahassee Division granted a request for a preliminary injunction barring Florida from enforcing a new law that substantially limits social media companies' ability to moderate their platforms.
"The Pentagon Papers case affirms fundamental values and principles. Truth matters— facts matter. The role of the press in the American governing scheme is to serve the 'governed' and not the 'governors.' The protection of a 'cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press' is essential to a vibrant and strong American democracy. That is the profound and enduring meaning of the case," Cardozo Law Professor David Rudenstine writes.
On June 28th, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in a case about whether Austin, Texas’s digital billboard policy violates the First Amendment. In 2017, Reagan National Advertising sued the city of Austin in state district court over a rule that prohibits billboards from being digitized if they appear anywhere other than a business’s property.
Watch our panel discussion with the Reporters Committee's Gabe Rottman, and two Pullitzer-Prize-winning journalists–Ellen Nakashima from The Washington Post & Charlie Savage from The New York Times–to talk about the history of media leak investigations and their impact on press freedom.
In 2019, Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax sued CBS for defamation following their coverage of two sexual assault allegations against him. At the time, Fairfaix was poised to replace Gov. Ralph Northam who was facing intense public pressure to resign for appearing in blackface in his 1994 medical school yearbook.
In an 8-1 decision on June 23rd, the Supreme Court ruled that a student’s off-campus speech was protected by the First Amendment. The case, Mahanoy Area School District v B.L., involves a message posted on Snapchat by a then-14 year old student identified as “B.L.”, after she learned she failed to advance from the junior varsity to the varsity cheerleading squad. The message, posted on a Saturday afternoon when she was off-campus, stated, in part, “f*** cheer, f***everything.”
The Fourth Circuit just revived a lawsuit challenging a Maryland statute that prohibits individuals from broadcasting courtroom audio transcripts. Says "lawfully obtained recordings cannot constitutionally be punished ‘absent a need to further a state interest of the highest order.'"
On June 21st, a federal judge dismissed lawsuits filed against then-President Donald Trump and other federal officials who were being sued for violating the rights of protestors last June. After a group of protestors were forcibly removed from Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 2020, the ACLU of D.C., Black Lives Matters, and others filed suit against Trump, then-Attorney William Barr, and other federal officials alleging that they conspired to violate demonstrators right to protest when they cleared the park to allow Trump to pose for a photo op in front of a nearby historic church.