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FILE PHOTO: People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

Another Judge Rules That Politicians Censoring Critics On Twitter Violates The First Amendment

January 18, 2019: Three Republican Officials Blocked A Liberal Advocacy Group A federal judge ruled that three Republican members of the Wisconsin State Assembly violated the First Amendment rights of a liberal advocacy group by blocking the group’s account from their respective Twitter pages. The group, One Wisconsin Now (OWN), filed a lawsuit in 2017 against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos,[Read More…]

January 23, 2019 Censorship, Speech, Top Stories
U.S. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Trump Directed Press Sec. Sanders ‘Not To Bother’ Holding Daily Briefings

January 22, 2019: The President Blames So-Called Unfair Coverage For The Infrequency Of Formal Briefings President Trump declared in a tweet that he has told White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to stop holding daily press conferences because the press covers her “rudely and inaccurately,” and that “word gets out anyway.” The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the[Read More…]

January 23, 2019 Press, Top Stories
A pint of beer is poured into a glass in a bar in London, Britain June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Could a Beer Label Be Free Speech? DC Brewery Sues Government For Stalled Sales During Shutdown

January 16, 2019: The Seasonal Batch Cannot Be Sold Because Labels Were Not Government Approved Before Shutdown D.C. craft beer brewery Atlas Brew Works is suing the acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker over their inability to sell a batch of beer due to the federal shutdown, a limitation that they claim violates their First Amendment right to free speech. On[Read More…]

January 17, 2019 Speech, Top Stories
Demonstrators deploy a model of a U.S. drone aircraft at the "Stop Watching Us: A Rally Against Mass Surveillance" near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CIVIL UNREST)

Gene Policinski Commentary: A Growing List: 2019 Threats To First Amendment Freedoms

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Gene Policinski, originally published this commentary on January 11, 2019, on the Newseum blog, and has given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint.           First Amendment threats and defenses have, for much of the past 100 years, largely focused on protecting individual speech — the rights of any one of[Read More…]

January 14, 2019 Threats, Top Stories
Local Official Can’t Block Constituent On Facebook, Federal Appeals Court Rules

Local Official Can’t Block Constituent On Facebook, Federal Appeals Court Rules

A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that a local county official who temporarily blocked a constituent from her Facebook page violated the First Amendment, making this the first court of appeals ruling regarding whether the First Amendment applies to government-run social media accounts.

January 8, 2019 Censorship, Speech, Top Stories
Ballard Spahr: MD and DC News Organizations Win Challenge To Online Political Ad Law

Ballard Spahr: MD and DC News Organizations Win Challenge To Online Political Ad Law

Reprinted with Permission from Ballard Spahr In a 50-page opinion and order issued today, a Maryland federal court ruled in favor of a coalition of Maryland and Washington, D.C.-based news organizations on their challenge to a Maryland law that would have placed significant burdens on publishers of online political advertisements. The Maryland Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act (the Act),[Read More…]

January 7, 2019 Speech, Top Stories
Buzzfeed Prevails In Defamation Lawsuit Filed By Russian Executive For Publishing Dossier

Buzzfeed Prevails In Defamation Lawsuit Filed By Russian Executive For Publishing Dossier

December 19, 2018: The Judge Ruled That The Outlet Was Covered By Fair Report Privilege A federal judge ruled in Buzzfeed’s favor in a lawsuit brought by Russian technology executive Aleksej Gubarev. Gubarev claimed that he was defamed in a dossier published by Buzzfeed in January 2017 that contained unverified reports of alleged ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government.[Read More…]

December 20, 2018 Libel, News Gathering, Top Stories
A news stand outfitted with "Fake News" headlines for a stunt pulled off by the Columbia Journalism Review is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, U.S., October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

New Knight Study Released on The Future of the First Amendment

The Future of the First Amendment: 2018 Report of High School Students and Teachers report examines how high school students’ attitudes about the First Amendment, censorship, and the news environment are changing and what that means for the future of democracy.

December 14, 2018 News Gathering, Round-Up, Speech, Top Stories
A Boston Police cruiser is marked with crime scene tape outside the scene after a burning propane tank was left near an unoccupied police cruiser in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 20, 2017.  REUTERS/Josh Reynolds

Massachusetts Law Prohibiting Secret Audio Recordings of Government Officials and Police Ruled Unconstitutional

December 11, 2018: The Reversal Was In Response To Challenges Brought by the ACLU and Project Veritas A Massachusetts law that banned secret audio recording of government and police officials performing their duties in public was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in Boston. “On the core constitutional issue, the Court holds that secret audio recording of government officials, including[Read More…]

December 13, 2018 Access, Secrecy, Top Stories
“Guardians” of the Truth Are TIME Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year

“Guardians” of the Truth Are TIME Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year

  December 11, 2018: The Magazine Created Four Covers to Recognize Four Sets of Journalists Across the World Who Pursued Truth in the Face of Danger Slain, imprisoned, and threatened journalists are the 2018 TIME Magazine‘s Person of the year.   The list includes Jamal Khashoggi, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, Maria Ressa and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, MD.[Read More…]

December 12, 2018 Press, Threats, Top Stories