Top Stories

Department of Justice Sues Edward Snowden for Proceeds of New Memoir

Department of Justice Sues Edward Snowden for Proceeds of New Memoir

September 17, 2019 The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden for publishing his new memoir without submitting the book to the CIA and NSA for a prepublication review. According to the lawsuit, the DoJ is entitled to all monetary proceeds[Read More…]

September 18, 2019 Prior Restraint, Top Stories
Michael McNeely makes phone calls for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp with other volunteers and staff at Kemp's campaign office during a phone banking event in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Are Political Robocalls Protected Under the First Amendment?

September 10, 2019 The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a Montana law banning political robocalling violated the First Amendment because it regulated speech based on its content. The case was brought by Victory Processing, a political consulting business, which says that the state’s law prevented them from using automated telephone calls to convey political[Read More…]

September 13, 2019 Privacy, Top Stories
Rachel Maddow at BookExpo 2019. Terry Ballard/Wikimedia Commons. Cropped 59% horizontally, 36% vertically.

MSNBC and Rachel Maddow Face $10 Million Defamation Lawsuit

September 9, 2019 A San Diego-based media organization, One America News Network (OAN), has filed a libel lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California against MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow for saying it “literally is paid Russian propaganda.” The lawsuit refers to a July 22 show in which Maddow discussed a report published[Read More…]

September 10, 2019 Defamation, Top Stories
Oregon Reporters Face Possible Criminal Investigation For Contacting Public Officials

Oregon Reporters Face Possible Criminal Investigation For Contacting Public Officials

August 19, 2019 After months reporting on a local politician’s contract work in Malheur County, journalists at a small newspaper in eastern Oregon now face a possible criminal investigation for their conduct.   According to The Washington Post, the Malheur Enterprise is being investigated for harassment because State Rep. Greg Smith, the lawmaker at the heart of their reporting, complained that[Read More…]

August 20, 2019 Privacy, Top Stories
Former Trump White House staffer and current Salem Radio talk show host Sebastian Gorka, a guest of U.S. President Donald Trump at his social media summit, walks away after yelling at Playboy writer and White House correspondent Brian Karem and members of the White House press corps after attending an event in the Rose Garden where the president announced his administration's efforts to gain citizenship data during the 2020 census at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Playboy’s Senior White House Correspondent, Brian Karem, Sues Trump Administration Over Press Pass Suspension

August 16, 2019 Brian Karem, a senior White House correspondent for Playboy magazine, is suing the Trump administration over the suspension of his press pass. Filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Karem’s lawsuit marks the second time a journalist has sued the administration after losing their White House press credentials.  In November 2018, Jim[Read More…]

August 20, 2019 Public Forum, Top Stories
Roger Stone departs a hearing to convince a judge to dismiss charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Al Drago

Roger Stone Claims The Gag Order Imposed on Him and His Family Is a Prior Restraint

August 2, 2019  Roger Stone, former advisor to Donald Trump, has filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia arguing that the current gag order imposed on him and his family constitutes a prior restraint. According to the petition, the current gag order fails traditional First Amendment standards because it is too broad[Read More…]

August 6, 2019 Prior Restraint, Top Stories
The sign for the new Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown, Connecticut, U.S. July 29,2016. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin

Sandy Hook Victim’s Father Wins Defamation Suit Against Conspiracy Book’s Editors

A Wisconsin judge ruled that the co-editors of a book that claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax were guilty of defamation. Following the December 2012 mass shooting, James Fetzer and Michael Palecek published a book, “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook: It was a FEMA Drill to Promote Gun Control,” claiming that the federal agency had staged the event to promote gun control. The book also claimed the Leonard Pozner, the father of the youngest Sandy Hook victim, was complicit in the conspiracy, and had fabricated his son’s death certificate.

June 19, 2019 Defamation, Top Stories
First Amendment Watch Video Series: Interviews with Panelists at the National Conference at Duquesne University

First Amendment Watch Video Series: Interviews with Panelists at the National Conference at Duquesne University

First Amendment Watch spoke panelists at the National Conference on the First Amendment at Duquesne University about their areas of expertise in the First Amendment space.

Interviewees include:

Floyd Abrams, attorney, author and prominent legal authority on the First Amendment

Mary Beth Tinker, free speech plaintiff in Tinker vs. Des Moines

Sree Sreenivasan, Co-founder of Digimentors and former professor and associate dean of Columbia Journalism School

Amy Gajda, Professor of Law at Tulane University Law School

November 20, 2018 Top Stories, Videos and Podcasts
Lata Nott, Executive Director of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center

Lata Nott: The Biggest Threat To Democracy Might Be The Loss Of Local Newspapers

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Lata Nott, originally published this op-ed on the Newseum blog and in local newspapers across the country, and has given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint.         If you’re reading this column in your local newspaper, congratulations!  Just by skimming your eyeballs over this page, whether it’s in print or online, you’re[Read More…]

June 19, 2018 News Gathering, Opinion, Top Stories
Notable Legal Ruling For Buzzfeed in Dossier Defense

Notable Legal Ruling For Buzzfeed in Dossier Defense

June 4, 2018: Judge Rules That Buzzfeed Could Claim Fair Report Privilege  A judge ruled that Buzzfeed may have legal protection for its decision to publish the “dossier” and a brief accompanying article in January 2017, and could claim fair reporting privilege. The privilege is a common law or statutory protection that enables journalists to report on government activity or[Read More…]

June 5, 2018 Defamation, Top Stories