On May 21st, a lawyer for Fox News asked a Seattle judge to throw out a lawsuit accusing the cable network of spreading false information about COVID-19. The suit, filed in the Superior Court in Washington County of King on April 2nd by the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE), accuses the cable news network of violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act.
“No politician likes being the subject of critical coverage, but that comes with elected office, and I would be abdicating my role as a journalist if I failed to hold local government, including the City of Memphis, accountable,” Thomas said in a press statement.
“By banning protests generally, and denying Givens’ permit specifically, Defendants have deprived Givens of the opportunity for airing his grievances against the government, including the State’s failure to conduct timely background checks for those wishing to purchase a gun and restrictions on speech activities,” the complaint argues.
Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has threatened to retaliate against a reporter for sharing an email sent to him by Pence’s office asking members of the press to wear a mask during an official visit to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The suit contends that religious groups should be allowed to gather in person “regardless of the number of participants,” if they agree to “adequate social distancing.”
"While public safety is certainly part of any reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions...we are very concerned that this antiquated 'avigation' law is being used in an arbitrary and capricious manner to chill newsgathering efforts to report on a matter of grave public concern," Mickey Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, said in a statement.
A new lawsuit brought by a Wisconsin family claims police in their town violated their daughter’s First Amendment rights when they ordered her to remove three Instagram posts that described her experience battling COVID-19 symptoms.
“Despite the justices' unwillingness to bring the modern technologies of video into the courtroom, the COVID-19 pandemic reveals how some communication technologies can change the culture of the proceedings and how the court communicates with the public,” Ron Collins said in response to the court's decision.