Prior Restraints

School Newspaper Publishes Controversial Story At The Center Of Free Speech Debate

School Newspaper Publishes Controversial Story At The Center Of Free Speech Debate

    May 3, 2019: School Newspaper Publishes Story That Was the Subject of a Free Speech Debate  On Friday May 3, a student high school newspaper in Stockton, California published an article about an 18 year-old student who worked in the porn industry. The Lodi Unified School District had earlier threatened to discipline—and perhaps even fire—the paper’s faculty adviser if[Read More…]

May 6, 2019 Prior Restraints, Top Stories
Prepublication Review: An “Unconstitutional Censorship” of Former Intelligence Officials?

Prepublication Review: An “Unconstitutional Censorship” of Former Intelligence Officials?

Five former intelligence officials are suing two U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense, challenging the constitutionality of the agencies’ “prepublication review” system. The prepublication review system requires current and former intelligence agency employees and military personnel to submit  for government approval anything they write about their past work.

April 17, 2019 Censorship, Prior Restraints, Top Stories
United States Supreme Court Building

Ag-Gag Laws Face the First Amendment

When Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, a reported novel that exposed the abuses in Chicago’s meatpacking industry, the public response was immediate, and federal regulation soon followed. More than a century later, whistleblowers continue to play a major role in shaping public opinion and policies around agricultural practices. However, many states have enacted laws to punish journalists and activists who[Read More…]

February 26, 2019 News Gathering, Prior Restraints, 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Order As A Prior Restraint On Free Speech For the second time this month, Superior Court Judge Gustavo N. Sztraicher rescinded a court order after he was challenged by the LA Times on two separate cases.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
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

The 3D Guns Controversy: Is Computer Code a Form of Speech?

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
Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz walks back in court as his attorney Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill (L) looks on in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. April 27, 2018.      Taimy Alvarez/Sun-Sentinel/Pool via REUTERS

Florida School Board Wants To Hold Newspaper In Contempt For Publishing Parkland Shooter’s Records

August 15, 2018:”I find it shameful”: Judge Reprimands Newspaper For Publishing Redacted Material A Broward County judge lambasted the Sun Sentinel for publishing disclosed information contained in a redacted report that the paper says it obtained legally, because the information was already made public.  In response to the judge’s claim that she was under the impression that the newspaper would[Read More…]

Los Angeles Times Building (source: Wikipedia)

Judge Lifts Order On The Los Angeles Times To Alter News Story

The First Amendment has always been seen as providing, at a very minimum, freedom from censorship by the government or by a private party acting through an injunction issued by a judge. The Los Angeles Times will rely on this argument as it fights a court order that required it to take down part of a published piece on Saturday.

July 16, 2018 Below the Fold, Press, Prior Restraints
Superior Court Judge Netti C. Vogel (screenshot from Providence Journal video 2012)

Newspaper Challenging RI Judge In Federal Court For Banning Juror Contact

June 12, 2018: Newspaper Seeking Clarification On Free Press Principles The Providence Journal is moving a First Amendment complaint against a Superior Court judge to federal court for declaring a ban on reporter contact with jurors after a trial. The newspaper’s lawyers, the state Superior Court, and the judge could not reach an agreement about reporter’s access to jurors and[Read More…]

In Alabama Town, Media and Non-Residents Banned From Meetings

In Alabama Town, Media and Non-Residents Banned From Meetings

June 12, 2018: In Contradiction to Alabama Open Meetings Act, Paint Rock Bans Media And Non-Residents From Council Meetings The Jackson County Sentinel reported that the 200-person town of Paint Rock, Alabama is trying to ban members of the media and non-residents from attending Town Council meetings without prior approval of the members. The rules also say that recording meetings[Read More…]

Still taken from the film The Post

“The Post,” Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks—What They Teach Us About Freedom of the Press

The new movie, The Post, with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks dramatizes a pivotal moment in U.S. history when the press was threatened and almost silenced if not for the brave decisions of publishers willing to fight for press freedom.The Pentagon Papers also known as the “Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force” were commissioned in 1967 to study U.S. decision-making before and during the conflict in Vietnam. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a consultant who had worked on the 7,000-page classified study, leaked it to The New York Times and The Washington Post. The Nixon Administration sought to stop both papers from publishing stories based on the leaked documents. In New York Times v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled against prior restraint and allowed publication to move forward. We look at lessons from the film, the importance of the case and what prior restraint means.

May 18, 2018 News Gathering, Prior Restraints