Below the Fold

Ex-Aide to Former Defense Secretary James Mattis Sues Pentagon for Unlawful Prior Restraint

Ex-Aide to Former Defense Secretary James Mattis Sues Pentagon for Unlawful Prior Restraint

August 29, 2019 Former Navy pilot Guy Snodgrass, an aide to former Defense Secretary James Mattis, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense (DoD), claiming that it has “unlawfully imposed a prior restraint upon Snodgrass by obstructing and infringing on his right to publish unclassified material…”. Snodgrass’s memoir, “Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis,” focuses[Read More…]

September 6, 2019 Below the Fold, Prior Restraint
Federal Judge Orders White House to Restore Brian Karem’s Press Credentials

Federal Judge Orders White House to Restore Brian Karem’s Press Credentials

  September 3, 2019 A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has granted Playboy’s White House correspondent Brian Karem his motion for a preliminary injunction. The judge has ordered President Donald Trump and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham to immediately restore Karem’s press pass. “At this early stage of the proceedings, [Karem has][Read More…]

September 4, 2019 Below the Fold, Press Access, Public Forum
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Faces Two Federal Lawsuits for Blocking Twitter Users

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Faces Two Federal Lawsuits for Blocking Twitter Users

New information added on September 2, 2019 to reflect updates in the case. August 8, 2019 On July 10, 2019, New York assemblyman Dov Hikind and Republican congressional candidate Joseph Saladino filed separate lawsuits against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for blocking them on Twitter.  The lawsuits were filed soon after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that[Read More…]

September 3, 2019 Below the Fold, Public Forum
CNN attorney Ted Boutrous speaks to reporters after representing White House correspondent Jim Acosta in a hearing on CNN's lawsuit against the Trump administration seeking the reinstatement of Acosta's White House press credentials outside U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

First Amendment Lawyer Ted Boutrous Honored with Leadership Award from PEN America

August 30, 2019 Theodore Boutrous Jr., a litigator at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher who specializes in media law and free press matters, is the 2019 recipient of PEN America’s Distinguished Leadership Award. Last November, Boutrous represented CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who had his White House press pass revoked for questioning President Trump’s immigration policies. More recently, Boutrous represented Playboy[Read More…]

August 30, 2019 Below the Fold
Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the crowd during a campaign rally for Wisconsin democratic candidates, gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, (far left), Lt. Governor candidate Mandela Barnes, (left), and state treasurer candidate Sarah Godlewski, (right) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 26, 2018. REUTERS/Sara Stathas

Conservative Think Tank Sues Wisconsin Governor For Denying Access To Press Briefings

August 6, 2019 Democratic Governor Tony Evers is being sued in federal court by MacIver Institute of Public Policy, a conservative think tank, over allegations that Evers denied its staffers access to press briefings, a violation of their First Amendment rights. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, alleges that since Evers took[Read More…]

August 8, 2019 Below the Fold, News Gathering
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to members of the media during a town hall at the Peterborough Town House in Peterborough, New Hampshire, U.S., July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Covington Teens Sue Elizabeth Warren and 11 Other High-Profile Individuals for Defamation

August 2, 2019 The families of eight teenagers from Covington, Kentucky have filed a libel lawsuit in Kentucky’s Kenton County Circuit Court against twelve individuals for using “their large social media platforms” to circulate false statements about them. Among those listed as defendants include presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman, and social activist Shaun King.[Read More…]

August 2, 2019 Below the Fold, Defamation
Nicholas Sandmann, 16, a student from Covington Catholic High School stands in front of Native American activist Nathan Phillips in Washington, U.S., in this still image from a January 18, 2019 video by Kaya Taitano. Kaya Taitano/Social Media/via REUTERS

Federal Judge Dismisses $250 Million Libel Suit Against The Washington Post

August 2, 2019 The families of eight teenagers from Covington, Kentucky have filed a libel lawsuit in Kentucky’s Kenton County Circuit Court against twelve individuals for using “their large social media platforms” to circulate false statements about them. Among those listed as defendants include presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Timesjournalist Maggie Haberman, and social activist Shaun King. The suit, which lists[Read More…]

July 29, 2019 Below the Fold, Defamation
Screenshot of the website for The Koala, a satirical student newspaper at University of California, San Diego.

Appeals Court Rules that University Violated Satirical Publications’ First Amendment Rights

July 24, 2019 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court’s ruling that had dismissed a lawsuit brought by a student publication against the University of California, San Diego for First Amendment violations. On November 16, 2015, The Koala, a student-run humor publication, posted an article satirizing the concept of safe spaces. Generously laced with[Read More…]

July 26, 2019 Below the Fold, Campus Speech
A participant dressed in drag gives a book to a child during the "Drag Queen Story Hour" event in downtown Monterrey, Mexico. June 9, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril.

Public Library in Texas Town Cancels Speaking Event with Trans Author

July 9, 2019 A public library in Leander, Texas canceled an event involving Lilah Sturges, a trans woman and graphic novelist, after city officials published new additions to an event policy hours before Sturges was scheduled to speak.  The policy changes required that Sturges submit a background check before speaking, something the novelist said she would have done had she[Read More…]

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One to return to Washington from Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S. July 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Lower Court Ruling That Trump Can’t Block Critics on Twitter

A federal appeals court ruled that President Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum, and his practice of blocking critics violates the First Amendment. The decision arose from a July 2017 suit filed in U. S District Court for the Southern District of New York by seven Twitter users who had been blocked after they made critical remarks about Trump and/or his policies. The critics, represented by Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, sued Trump and Daniel Scavino, the White House’s Director of Social Media, for violating their First Amendment rights.

July 9, 2019 Below the Fold, Public Forum