While the White House had a legitimate interest in maintaining a degree of control over media access to the White House, U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel wrote that the administration could not do so in a way that interfered with a reporter’s due process rights.
“No politician likes being the subject of critical coverage, but that comes with elected office, and I would be abdicating my role as a journalist if I failed to hold local government, including the City of Memphis, accountable,” Thomas said in a press statement.
“To allow automatic warrantless seizures of bystanders’ cell phones containing recordings of police interactions without any evidence of exigency would deeply chill the First Amendment right to record, as the public simply would not exercise this constitutional right out of fear that doing so would authorize law enforcement to seize one’s phone and hold it indefinitely,” the complaint reads.
When Collins and another reporter refused to swap seats, the White House official allegedly told the reporters that the matter would be handled by the Secret Service.
"While public safety is certainly part of any reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions...we are very concerned that this antiquated 'avigation' law is being used in an arbitrary and capricious manner to chill newsgathering efforts to report on a matter of grave public concern," Mickey Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, said in a statement.
Ted Boutrous sent a letter to White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on April 3rd, demanding that Playboy White House Correspondent Brian Karem be allowed to attend press briefings. The letter also criticized the Trump Administration’s preferential treatment of a reporter for One American News Network (OANN), a conservative cable show.
The officials, who wished to remain anonymous, told Reuters that documented exchanges between health officials about “the scope of infections, quarantines and travel restrictions” have been removed from public record and placed in a “high-security meeting room” at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
By 2019, more than 81% of Americans owned a smartphone, as compared to 35% in 2011. This has given rise to “citizen journalists” who record and disseminate videos of police officers performing their duties in public. Does the First Amendment protect them, or can the state prohibit the recording of police activity?