Federal Lawsuit Seeks to Block Arizona Voters’ Right to Know Act
Policy grassroots organization Americans for Prosperity filed a lawsuit in federal court March 17 claiming a voter-approved Arizona statute violates the First Amendment in requiring the disclosure of big-money donors to organizations involved in campaign media spending.
Arizona Federal District Judge Restricts Interference of Poll-Watching Group
An Arizona federal district judge narrowed a poll-watching group’s ability to monitor ballot drop boxes by issuing restrictions on taking photos and videos of early voters and prohibiting the open carry of firearms and wearing tactical gear within 250 feet of a drop box. The temporary restraining order, issued Nov. 1 by U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi bars affiliates and members of the poll-watching group Clean Elections USA from taking photos and videos of people within 75 feet of a drop box; following, yelling or speaking to people dropping off ballots unless they’re engaged first; and standing within 75 feet of a drop box.
Arizona Federal District Judge Denies Injunction Against Arizona Poll Watching Group, DOJ Disagrees
On Oct. 28, U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi denied a request to block a poll-watching group from surveilling drop boxes citing First Amendment concerns. Three days later, the Department of Justice signaled its disapproval of the judge’s ruling in a statement of interest, stating that "The First Amendment does not protect individuals’ right to assemble to engage in voter intimidation or coercion.”
Preliminary Injunction Blocks Arizona Law Restricting Recording of Police
Judge John Tuchi for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona granted the motion for a preliminary injunction Friday and enjoined enforcement of the law pending resolution of the case on the merits, according to Ballard Spahr attorney Matthew E. Kelley, who represents an alliance of press groups in opposition to the law.
Press Groups, ACLU Challenge Arizona’s Law Restricting Recording of Police Officers
The motion filed Tuesday morning argues that the law, known as HB2319, is a content-based restriction on speech and would have a chilling effect not only on the First Amendment activities of visual journalists “whose job it is to document the newsworthy activities of public servants in public places” but would also affect the general public who “simply wants to record what law enforcement officers are doing."
Next Up: Lawsuit Imminent to Challenge New Arizona Law Restricting the Recording of Police
There's no hesitancy among free press and media legal scholars who are asked whether the law is constitutional. There's consensus: It's not. They base their views on numerous rulings of federal appeals courts on the issue.
Arizona Governor Signs Bill to Restrict Recording Police in Public
Arizona Gov. Douglas Ducey signed into law a bill that would make it illegal to photograph or record a police officer in public from a distance of eight feet without the officer’s permission.
Arizona House Passes Bill That Would Limit Recording of the Police
On February 24th, the Arizona House of Representatives voted to advance a bill that would make it illegal to photograph or record a police officer in public from a distance of eight feet without his or her permission. House Bill 2319 says if an individual is asked by the police to quit filming but continues to do so would face a class 3 misdemeanor and up to 30 days in jail.