A British judge refused the United State’s request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after finding there was a “substantial” risk that he would harm himself. “I am satisfied that, in these harsh conditions, Mr. Assange’s mental health would deteriorate, causing him to commit suicide with the single-minded determination of his autism spectrum disorder,” District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said in a ruling released on January 4th.
On December 15th, the United States Appeals Court for the First Circuit unanimously ruled that a Massachusetts wiretap statute could not be used against individuals who recorded police officers in public, even if the officer had not consented to the recording. The state has long fought to preserve the statute that broadly protects people from being recorded without their consent
The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the Texas Press Association (TPA), and an independent journalist can move forward with their First Amendment challenge to a Texas law that restricts the use of drones.
In both his 2014 race and current reelection efforts, Purdue has leveraged his experience as a successful business leader of Reebok and Dollar General to win voters’ confidence. Courthouse News reporter Daniel Jackson says he has found information that may paint a more complicated picture of the Senator’s track record.
On November 30th, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Van Buren vs. United States, a case that could have huge implications for data journalists and cybersecurity researchers. At the heart of the case is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal law that press advocates say is too broadly written and can be used to punish journalists for using common newsgathering techniques.
The defense counsel in a high-profile criminal case in California asked a court in August to close the pretrial hearings from the public and media. Now, a First Amendment advocacy group is pushing back, arguing that there are ways to ensure a fair trial without compromising public access.
In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit wrote that the lower court’s restraining order was too broad because it failed to specify who qualified as a journalist or legal observer. In previous hearings, the federal government had argued that differentiating between journalists and protesters was especially difficult given that some protesters wear press insignia to avoid the police’s crowd control tactics.
The judge extended a preliminary injunction prohibiting federal agents from "arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force" against journalists or legal observers. An attorney working with the ACLU on the case called the court's decision "a crucial victory for civil liberties and freedom of the press."