Below the Fold

A view of reclaimed land that is being utilized for cattle grazing is seen in the left of the frame, and a view of untouched land is seen in the right of the frame during a tour of Peabody Energy's North Antelope Rochelle coal mine near Gillette, Wyoming, U.S. June 1, 2016. Reclaimed land is land that is brought back to it's pre-mining use.  REUTERS/Kristina Barker

New Ground Rules: Judge Strikes Down Wyoming Data Trespass Laws

  October 30, 2018: The Laws Violate Free Speech Protections  A federal judge struck down two of Wyoming’s “ag-gag” laws that barred the collection of environmental research data on public and private land. The judge ruled that the recently passed “data trespass” statutes are unconstitutional and violate free speech protections, siding with two environmental groups and a photography association. The[Read More…]

November 5, 2018 Below the Fold, Speech
National Parks Service Proposal Would Compel Fees For DC Protests

National Parks Service Proposal Would Compel Fees For DC Protests

October 9, 2018: ACLU Fights Back Against Proposed Regs The ACLU of D.C. submitted a formal written comment expressing opposition to the National Park Service’s proposed regulation changes to protest rights in the nation’s capital. Arthur Spitzer the Legal Co-Director of the ACLU of D.C. writes that these changes would make events like MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech too expensive to[Read More…]

October 9, 2018 Assembly, Below the Fold
U.S. President Donald Trump introduces his Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh And The First Amendment: His Record, Views, And Controversies

In light of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, experts weigh in on his First Amendment record with mixed views. During the course of the confirmation process, Kavanaugh was questioned about reporter’s privilege and whether he would allow journalists to divulge the details of confidential conversations he had with them decades ago.

October 8, 2018 Below the Fold, Speech
Los Angeles Times Building (source: Wikipedia)

Deja Vu: LA Judge Challenged On Unconstitutional Court Order For Second Time This Month

October 13, 2018: The Times Once Again Challenged Court Order As A Prior Restraint On Free Speech For the second time this month, Superior Court Judge Gustavo N. Sztraicher rescinded a court order after he was challenged by the LA Times on two separate cases. Last week, the judge reversed an order two days after he prohibited journalists from describing[Read More…]

September 27, 2018 Below the Fold, Prior Restraints
Gene Policinski, Chief Operating Officer, Newseum Institute and First Amendment Center of Newseum Institute

Gene Policinski Commentary: Corrections Should Be Seen As Good Things, Not Weapons For Critics

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Gene Policinski, originally published this commentary on September 21, 2018, on the Newseum blog, and has given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint.           To err is human — but, it would seem, corrections are not seen by many as divine. Inevitably, when journalists in all kinds of mediums start[Read More…]

September 26, 2018 Below the Fold, Fake News, Press
FILE PHOTO: Roy Moore (L) and Sacha Baron Cohen are seen in this combination photo in Midland City, Alabama, U.S., December 11, 2017 and in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016 respectively.   REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman (L) REUTERS/Adrees Latif (R)

Roy Moore Sues Sacha Baron Cohen For $95 Million In Defamation Case, Claiming False Portrayal As Sex Offender

September 5, 2018: The Former Alabama Senate Candidate Claims He Was Duped On Show Former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is suing Sacha Baron Cohen, CBS, and Showtime for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud, for implying that he is a pedophile on the July 29 episode of Cohen’s satirical show “Who Is America?” Moore is seeking $95[Read More…]

September 6, 2018 Below the Fold, Libel
The book "Unhinged" by former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman on her time in the White House administration is seen for sale in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 14, 2018.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton   NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Omarosa’s Publisher Says Trump Legal Team Threats Are “Hollow”

August 17, 2018: Simon & Schuster To Trump: You Have A “Bully Pulpit” At Your Disposal In response to threats made by the Trump campaign legal team, Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House by Omarosa Manigault-Newman, says they acted well within their rights and will continue to publish the book on schedule. The[Read More…]

August 30, 2018 Below the Fold, Censorship, Speech, Threats
Defamation Lawsuits Pile Up Against InfoWars And Alex Jones

Defamation Lawsuits Pile Up Against InfoWars And Alex Jones

The 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre which killed 20 children and 6 adults galvanized parents and relatives of those murdered to promote gun reform. One conservative commentator who responded negatively to their efforts: Alex Jones and his Infowars which ran segments claiming the massacre at Sandy Hook was “a giant hoax.” Jones’ followers have continued to harass Sandy Hook families. Now Leonard Pozner and his former wife, Veronique De La Rosa, parents of Noah Pozner, and Neil Heslin, the father of Jesse Lewis, have responded by filing two defamation suits against Alex Jones stating “defendants’ defamatory statements were knowingly false or made with reckless disregard for the truth.” They are seeking at least $1 million in damages. This is the second time this year Alex Jones has been sued for defamation. In March, Brennan Gilmore, sued Jones for stories that led to threats against him. Now, six more families of Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent filed a third defamation lawsuit Wednesday against Jones.

August 30, 2018 Below the Fold, Libel
Seized plastic handguns which were created using 3D printing technology are displayed at Kanagawa police station in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 8, 2014. Yoshimoto Imura became the first man to be arrested in Japan for illegal possession of two guns he created himself using 3D printing technology, Japanese media said on Thursday. The 27-year-old, a college employee in the city of Kawasaki, was arrested after police found video online posted by Imura claiming to have produced his own guns. Gun possession is strictly regulated in Japan. Police raided Imura's home and found five guns, two of which could fire real bullets, Japanese media said. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo (JAPAN - Tags: CRIME LAW SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Despite Court Order, Maker Of 3D Guns Begins Distribution

In a landmark legal move, the United States Department of State and the Second Amendment Foundation reached a settlement that would allow the digital files that can create 3-D printed guns to be freely published on First Amendment grounds.  The State Department agreed to waive the prior restraint against the Defense Distributed, a non-profit organization that develops and publishes open source guns designs that can be used in 3-D printing. But then states sued and a judge blocked the publication hours before they were set to be released.

August 30, 2018 Below the Fold, Prior Restraints, Speech
Reminding Readers That Press Is Not The Enemy Of The People, News Outlets Defend Their Right In Their Own Words

Reminding Readers That Press Is Not The Enemy Of The People, News Outlets Defend Their Right In Their Own Words

Hundreds of news outlets around the country heeded the call of Boston Globe deputy editorial page editor Marjorie Pritchard and published their defense of a free press in response to criticism from President Trump. 

August 30, 2018 Below the Fold, Press, Top Stories