Category
Public Forum

Conservative Think Tank Loses Press Access Lawsuit Against Wisconsin Governor

The MacIver Institute sued Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in 2019 after his office allegedly refused to invite reporters from the think tank’s news arm, MacIver News Service, to press briefings. On April 9th, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit sided with the Governor after finding his office had acted on viewpoint-neutral policies and that MacIver had failed to show evidence that the policy was applied in a discriminatory manner.

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Constituents Sue Texas Attorney General For Blocking Them on Twitter

Filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division on April 8th, the complaint argues that because the Attorney General uses @KenPaxtonTX for “official purposes,” his account is a public forum and blocking users based on their viewpoint is a violation of the First Amendment.

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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Ends Four-Year-Long Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Blocking of Critics on Twitter

On April 5th, the Supreme Court of the United States vacated the Second Circuit’s decision in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Donald Trump, a long-running lawsuit challenging former President Donald Trump’s pattern of blocking critics from his personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump. 

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New Mexico Judge Says Official Can’t Block Critical User from Facebook

In a ruling filed on March 11th, a New Mexico district judge dismissed a local official’s attempt to toss a lawsuit filed against him for blocking a constituent on his Facebook page. 

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Missouri State Official Can Block Users From Her Twitter Account, Eighth Circuit Rules

Not every “political” social media account run by a public official is a public forum, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled on January 27th. The case involves a Missouri state legislator who was sued by her political opponent after she blocked him from her Twitter account. 

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Twitter

Justice Department Asks SCOTUS To Vacate Knight v. Trump Ruling

A day before Joe Biden's inauguration, the Justice Department under Donald Trump made a last-minute effort to undo a major court decision related to public official's social media accounts.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Teacher Guide: Press Briefings and Journalists’ Rights

Though politicians and journalists need one another, their interactions are by nature often adversarial. A key part of a reporter’s job is to look beyond the story public officials want to tell and to ask uncomfortable questions. But when officials believe reporters go too far, can they ban them from attending future gatherings? And what First Amendment or other rights protect reporters from such actions?

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City Apologizes for Barring Local Charlottesville Resident from Commenting During Public Meeting

On September 18th, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia issued a formal apology after a  local resident was blocked from commenting during a City Council meeting on Zoom. On May 18th, Charlottesville resident Tanesha Hudson criticized the way Council members were dealing with City Manager Tarron Richardson, who she alleges they were plotting to fire.  

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