Page 11234..1020..»

Category Archives: First Amendment

United States Mint Announces Release of Fourth Coin in Platinum Proof Series Celebrating Five Freedoms of the First … – GlobeNewswire

Posted: February 9, 2024 at 10:39 am

Washington, DC, Feb. 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Mint (Mint) announced today that it is releasing the fourth coin in the five-year First Amendment to the United States Constitution Platinum Proof Coin Series on February 15, 2024, at noon (EST). Mintage is limited to 12,000 coins. Orders are limited to three units per household for the first 24 hours.

Launched in 2021 and continuing through 2025, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution Platinum Proof Coin Series reflects the five freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This series uses the lifecycle of the oak tree from seedling to a mighty oak as a metaphor for our countrys growth as a Nation that values freedom. Liberty grows to a thing of strength and beauty from a seedour Bill of Rights. Each of the freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment contributes to the growth and development of the Nation.

Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Donna Weaver created all obverse (heads) designs in this series, and United States Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna sculpted them.

The 2024 obverse design showcases several types of oak leaves assembled between the inscription WITH THE RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE LIBERTY SPREADS. Additional inscriptions are IN GOD WE TRUST, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and 2024.

The common reverse design for this series, by AIP Designer Patricia Lucas-Morris, depicts an eagle in flight, an olive branch in its talons. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $100, 1 OZ., and .9995 PLATINUM. United States Mint Medallic Artist Don Everhart sculpted the reverse.

Each coin is encapsulated then placed in a stylish clamshell and presentation box. An image of the obverse design is incorporated on the outer packaging sleeve and on the Certificate of Authenticity.

As with all Mint products containing a precious metal, this coin will be priced according to the range in which it appears on the Pricing of Numismatic Gold, Commemorative Gold, and Platinum and Palladium Products table. Current pricing information is available online at https://catalog.usmint.gov/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-USM-Library/default/dw2021515f/images/PDFs/2023-Pricing-Grid.pdf

To sign up for Remind Me alerts for the 2024 First Amendment to the United States Constitution Platinum Proof Coin Right to Assemble, visithttps://catalog.usmint.gov/first-amendment-to-the-united-states-constitution-2024-platinum-proof-coin-right-to-assemble-24EJ.html/

Previous releases in this series include coins with designs recognizing Freedom of Religion (2021), Freedom of Speech (2022), and Freedom of the Press (2023). The final coin in the seriesRight to Petitionwill be released in 2025.

Additional products in the Mints collection of American Eagle Platinum Proof Coins are available athttps://catalog.usmint.gov/coins/precious-metal-coins/platinum/

Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, the United States Mint will not accept and will not honor orders placed prior to the official on-sale date of February 15, 2024, at noon EST.

About the United States Mint

Congress created the United States Mint in 1792, and the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. As the Nations sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage, the Mint is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; silver and bronze medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. Its numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

# # #

United States Mint Connecting America through Coins

Read more here:
United States Mint Announces Release of Fourth Coin in Platinum Proof Series Celebrating Five Freedoms of the First ... - GlobeNewswire

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on United States Mint Announces Release of Fourth Coin in Platinum Proof Series Celebrating Five Freedoms of the First … – GlobeNewswire

UNM Law professor joins amicus brief in Trump v. Anderson Supreme Court Case – UNM Newsroom

Posted: at 10:39 am

The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments this week on whether to uphold the Colorado Supreme Court decision barring Trump from the 2024 Colorado primary ballot. A UNM Law professor is among a group of First Amendment scholars arguing the decision should be upheld.

Maryam Ahranjani

Maryam Ahranjani, the Ron and Susan Friedman Professor of Law and an expert in constitutional rights, criminal law and procedure, and education law, joined First Amendment scholars and attorneys from around the country in filing an amicus brief last week.

The brief asserts two main points: that the Supreme Court should reject Trumps argument that excluding him from the Colorado primary ballot violates his free speech rights, and it should also reject the political-party-related amici James Madison Centers argument that Trumps disqualification violates its right of association.

The scholars argued that the First Amendments speech protections do not supersede the narrow scope of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that people who have taken a Constitutional oath and then participated in an insurrection cannot hold office again, and that arguing that it does will strip courts of their ability to view speech in context when determining whether that speech amounts to engagement in insurrection.

Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment: No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

When provisions of the Constitution potentially conflict with one another, traditional constitutional analysis involves harmonization; in other words, no one provision automatically supersedes another.

The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified after the Civil War to prevent similar conflicts in the future from reaching the political arena, according to the brief. The amici encourage the Court to harmonize Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment with the First Amendment and give effect to each whenever possible, rather than allow the First Amendment to supersede or obliterate Section 3, and that a newer, more specific amendment should be given precedence when harmony is not possible.

The amici cited the 1969 Brandenburg v. Ohio decision, which states that speech directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action is not protected by the First Amendment, and argued that speech should be reviewed in the context of how it was delivered, surrounding events and the intended audience.

Led by Counsel for Amici Steven A. Hirsch, in addition to Ahranjani, the team of luminary scholars includes Floyd Abrams, Bruce Ackerman, Erwin Chemerinsky, Alan Chen, Kent Greenfield, Martha Minow and Geoffrey R. Stone. The same team filed an amicus brief in the related Colorado Supreme Court case, Anderson v. Griswold, in November.

Ahranjanis involvement in these constitutional law cases began when she was approached by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to participate in an amicus brief in the Couy Griffin case last summer. In that case, a New Mexico judge ruled the then-Otero County Commissioner must be removed from office for his involvement in the insurrection. She has co-authored two Op-eds about the Disqualification Clause with Donald K. Sherman, CREWs Executive Vice President and Chief Counsel.

The brief cited 32 court cases along with several Constitutional amendments and articles, U.S. statutes, Supreme Court rulings and other authorities.

Read the amicus brief here. Oral arguments in the Supreme Court case are scheduled for Feb. 8.

Original post:
UNM Law professor joins amicus brief in Trump v. Anderson Supreme Court Case - UNM Newsroom

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on UNM Law professor joins amicus brief in Trump v. Anderson Supreme Court Case – UNM Newsroom

CNN’s Clarissa Ward Named a Recipient of the RTDNA’s 2024 First Amendment Award – Adweek

Posted: at 10:39 am

CNN's Clarissa Ward Named a Recipient of the RTDNA's 2024 First Amendment Award  Adweek

Read the original:
CNN's Clarissa Ward Named a Recipient of the RTDNA's 2024 First Amendment Award - Adweek

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on CNN’s Clarissa Ward Named a Recipient of the RTDNA’s 2024 First Amendment Award – Adweek

A new Supreme Court case threatens to take away your right to protest – Vox.com

Posted: January 27, 2024 at 3:53 am

A renegade federal appeals court one dominated by MAGA-aligned judges who routinely read the law in ways that even the current, very conservative Supreme Court finds untenable has spent the last half-decade harassing DeRay Mckesson, a prominent civil rights activist and an organizer within the Black Lives Matter movement

As part of this crusade, two of the Fifth Circuits judges effectively eliminated the First Amendment right to organize a protest in a case known as Doe v. Mckesson.

Mckessons case has already been up to the Supreme Court once, and the justices strongly hinted in a 2020 opinion that the Fifth Circuits attacks on Mckessons First Amendment rights should end labeling this case fraught with implications for First Amendment rights. But the Fifth Circuit did not take the hint, issuing a new opinion last July reaffirming its attack on First Amendment-protected political protests.

Now the case is before the Supreme Court again, and Mckessons lawyers want the justices to restore the First Amendment as fast as they possibly can.

In 2016, Mckesson helped organize a protest near Baton Rouges police department building, following the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in that same Louisiana city. At some point during that protest, an unknown individual threw a rock or some other hard object at a police officer, identified in court documents by the pseudonym Officer John Doe.

Sadly, the object hit Doe and allegedly caused injuries to his teeth, jaw, brain, and head, along with other compensable losses.

There is no excuse for throwing a rock at another human being, and whoever did so should be held responsible for their illegal act, including serious criminal charges. But even Judge Jennifer Elrod, the author of the Fifth Circuits most recent opinion targeting Mckesson, admits that it is clear that Mckesson did not throw the heavy object that injured Doe.

Nevertheless, Doe sued Mckesson, claiming that, as the organizer of the protest where this injury occurred, Mckesson should be liable for the illegal action of an unidentified protest attendee. But that is simply not how the First Amendment works. The Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware (1982) that civil liability may not be imposed merely because an individual belonged to a group, some members of which committed acts of violence.

It should be obvious why protest leaders must not be held legally responsible for the actions of random protest attendees. No one will ever organize a political protest if they know that they could face financially devastating liability if a reckless or violent individual happens to show up.

Indeed, as Judge Don Willett, a Fifth Circuit judge who dissented from Elrods opinion, pointed out, Elrods approach could potentially force protest organizers to pay for the unlawful acts of counter-protesters and agitators who show up for the very purpose of undermining the protest organizers political goals. Under Elrods opinion, Mckesson could be held liable if the unknown rock-thrower turns out to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan who showed up for the very purpose of undermining the Black Lives Matter movement by associating them with violence.

In their petition to the Supreme Court, Mckessons attorneys make an audacious ask claiming that Elrods decision is so flatly contrary to this Courts controlling precedent to be appropriate for summary reversal.

A summary reversal is the judicial equivalent of a spanking. It means that the lower courts decision was so erroneous that the justices decided to skip a full briefing or an oral argument in a case, and issue a permanent order overturning that lower courts decision.

This process is rarely used, and it is distinct from the temporary orders the Court frequently hands down on its so-called shadow docket. The Supreme Court typically requires six justices to agree before summarily reversing another courts decision.

Nevertheless, such a spanking is warranted in this case. Elrods opinion flouts exceedingly well-established First Amendment law. And it does so in a way that would make organized mass protests impossible, because anyone who tried to organize one would risk bankruptcy.

To understand just how ridiculous Elrods decision is, and how egregiously she defies the Supreme Courts caselaw, its helpful to start with the facts of the Claiborne case.

Like Mckesson, Claiborne involved a civil rights activist who organized a protest that allegedly included some violent individuals. In 1966, Charles Evers was the field secretary of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP. In that role, he was the principal organizer of a boycott against white merchants in Claiborne County.

The Mississippi Supreme Court claimed that some of the individuals who joined this boycott also engaged in acts of physical force and violence against the persons and property of certain customers and prospective customers of these white businesses. Evers, meanwhile, allegedly did far more to encourage violence than DeRay Mckesson is accused of in his case. He allegedly gave a speech to potential customers at these stores, where he said that if we catch any of you going in any of them racist stores, were gonna break your damn neck.

The Supreme Court nonetheless held that this emotionally charged rhetoric ... did not transcend the bounds of protected speech. Claiborne also warned that courts must show extreme care before imposing liability on a political figure of any kind.

That said, the Courts decision also listed three limited circumstances when a protest leader may be held liable for the violent actions of a protest participant:

There are three separate theories that might justify holding Evers liable for the unlawful conduct of others. First, a finding that he authorized, directed, or ratified specific tortious activity would justify holding him responsible for the consequences of that activity. Second, a finding that his public speeches were likely to incite lawless action could justify holding him liable for unlawful conduct that in fact followed within a reasonable period. Third, the speeches might be taken as evidence that Evers gave other specific instructions to carry out violent acts or threats.

None of these circumstances are present Mckesson. To the contrary, the Fifth Circuit admitted in an earlier decision in this very case that Officer Doe has not pled facts that would allow a jury to conclude that Mckesson colluded with the unknown assailant to attack Officer Doe, knew of the attack and ratified it, or agreed with other named persons that attacking the police was one of the goals of the demonstration.

So how on earth did Elrod arrive at the conclusion that Mckesson could be held liable for the actions of an unknown protest attendee? For starters, she claimed that her court could just add new items to the list of three circumstances that could justify such liability in her Mckesson opinion. According to Elrod, nothing in Claiborne suggests that the three theories identified above are the only proper bases for imposing tort liability on a protest leader.

This is, to put it mildly, a very unusual way to read a Supreme Court opinion that held that threats to break someones neck can be First Amendment-protected speech, which calls for extreme care before targeting protest organizers, and which laid out only three very specific circumstances that might justify an exception. Elrod cites no other court decision that has ever read Claiborne in such a counterintuitive way.

Then, after giving herself the power to invent new exceptions to the First Amendment, Elrod writes that this amendment does not apply where a defendant creates unreasonably dangerous conditions, and where his creation of those conditions causes a plaintiff to sustain injuries.

And what are the dangerous conditions created by Mckesson? Mckesson organized the protest to begin in front of the police station, obstructing access to the building. He did not dissuade protesters who allegedly stole water bottles from a grocery store. And he led the assembled protest onto a public highway, in violation of Louisiana criminal law.

Seriously, she said that the First Amendment begins to fade the minute a protest occupies a street.

Its hard to imagine a more lawless, unpersuasive, and historically ignorant decision than the one Elrod put her name on in the Mckesson case. And if the Supreme Court cant find the votes to reverse that decision, the right to engage in mass protest will become meaningless.

Yes, I'll give $5/month

Yes, I'll give $5/month

We accept credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. You can also contribute via

Here is the original post:
A new Supreme Court case threatens to take away your right to protest - Vox.com

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on A new Supreme Court case threatens to take away your right to protest – Vox.com

No, Blocking Traffic Is Not Protected by the First Amendment – Reason

Posted: at 3:53 am

On Saturday, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) posted a warning on X, formerly known as Twitter. "TRAFFIC ALERT," it read. "Expect delays around the airport due to a group in vehicles exercising first amendment rights in roadway. Use caution and expect slow moving vehicles."

The post was a reference to a caravan, with several vehicles flying Palestinian flags, that claimed every lane as they inched along the roadway to the airport, reportedly causing hefty traffic delays.

It is certainly a driver's free speech prerogative to fly their flag of choice. That has nothing to do, however, with obstructing traffic, which is entirely irrelevant to the First Amendment.

One legally confused post from an airport in Virginia doesn't necessarily say much when viewed in a vacuum. But the assertion is indicative of a larger trend, as highway blockades continue to pick up steam across the country. In January, pro-Palestine activists cut off access to the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges, along with the Holland Tunnel, during rush hour. We've seen similar demonstrations in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. That list is not exhaustive. And DCA is not the first airport targeted by protesters: In late December, for example, demonstrators obstructed traffic outside Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.

A settlement in New York essentially seeks to sanction the practice. "Where an FAA [First Amendment Activity] temporarily blocks vehicular or pedestrian traffic or otherwise obstructs public streets or sidewalks, the NYPD [New York Police Department] shall whenever possible accommodate the demonstration," reads a proposed agreement between the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New York, the Legal Aid Society, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the NYPD in response to lawsuits pertaining to the police's handling of various protests in 2020.

The settlement is still up in the air; the police union is trying to fight it. But there is something richly ironic about the state's top law enforcement officer attempting to give the public a green light to break the law. And the ACLU, also involved in the settlement, acknowledges in its own guidance that detaining people by blocking a roadway is not a legal, First Amendmentprotected activity.

"The right to peacefully assemble and protest is sacrosanct and foundational to our democracy," said New York Attorney General James in September after the settlement was unveiled. "Too often peaceful protesters have been met with force that has harmed innocent New Yorkers simply trying to exercise their rights."

James is correct that freedom of expression is crucial and central to the American project. It's also not a force field by which people are shielded from other rules. If I want to get people's attention by, say, driving 120 miles an hour while sporting a Palestinian flag, I cannot tell the officer who pulls me over for reckless driving that I'm simply exercising my free speech rights. The First Amendment does not give carte blanche to violate the law.

Activists may invoke the father of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr., when defending blockades. That's understandable. It's also misguided. As I wrote in 2022:

Though King did lead a protest from Selma to Montgomery, famously filling the Edmund Pettus Bridge, it was a march. It did not block interstate and highway traffic indefinitely for the sake of ita tactic King was not comfortable with, despite pressure in the 1960s to get on board. "Even though King didn't come out and criticize it in public, in private he thought it was a misguided tactic," said Brandon Terry, assistant professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University. "The NAACP thought it was ridiculous." King reportedly posited that such a move pushed the boundaries of acceptable demonstrations and would come back to bite the movement politically.

Protesting isn't meant to be convenient. But you might find it difficult to convince people you're the good guy when your blockades are hurting the vulnerable people you often claim to stand for, like this man who may have lost his parole, or this woman who went into labor.

Some folks may disagree. That is indisputably their right, and I'm thankful for that. Also not in dispute: It is not their right to detain people, no matter how righteous they believe their cause to be.

Link:
No, Blocking Traffic Is Not Protected by the First Amendment - Reason

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on No, Blocking Traffic Is Not Protected by the First Amendment – Reason

Cable Giants Insist That Forcing Them To Make Cancellations Easier Violates Their First Amendment Rights – Above the Law

Posted: at 3:53 am

Neither the FCC nor FTC has a particularly good track record of standing up to broadband and cable giants when it comes to their longstanding track record ofanticompetitive behavior, price gouging, or nickel-and-diming their often captive customers with bogus,hidden fees.

Though occasionally one of the two agencies does step in to try make a bare minimum effort to rein in the industrys worst impulses, such as the FTCs attempt,unveiled last March, to force companies to stop making cancelling service a pain in the ass. As you probably already know, many companies require you jump through elaborate hoops if you want to cancel, upselling you the entire time.

The FTCsproposed provisionwould make it just as easy to cancel a service as it is to sign up, requiring companies provide easy, one click access to cancelling service online. Said FTC boss Lina Khan at the time:

The proposal would save consumers time and money, and businesses that continued to use subscription tricks and traps would be subject to stiff penalties.

But the cable and broadband industry, which has a long and proud tradition of whining about every last consumer protection requirement (no matter how basic), is kicking back at the requirement. At ahearinglast week, former FCC boss-turned-top-cable-lobbying Mike Powell suggested such a rule wouldnt be fair, because it might somehow (?)prevent cable companies from informing customers about better deals:

The proposed simple click-to-cancel mechanism may not be so simple when such practices are involved. A consumer may easily misunderstand the consequences of canceling and it may be imperative that they learn about better options, NCTA CEO Michael Powell said at the hearing. For example, a customer may face difficulty and unintended consequences if they want to cancel only one service in the package, as canceling part of a discounted bundle may increase the price for remaining services.

Not to be outdone, Powell took things one step further and attempted ye olde throw every argument possible at a wall and see what sticks legal approach, at one point even trying to claim the FTCs requirements would harm the cable industrys first amendment rights (which makes no coherent sense):

the FTC proposal prevents almost any communication without first obtaining a consumers unambiguous, affirmative consent. That could disrupt the continuity of important services, choke off helpful information and forgo potential savings. It certainly raises First Amendment issues.

The cable and broadband industry makes its bundle pricing as complicated and punitive as possible, not only making it hard to simply outright cancel service, but often making it impossible to actually know how much youll pay for service in the first place. The goal isnt just to rip you off; its to making pricing so convoluted that its hard to do price comparisons or understand how much youre even paying.

Comcast and friends are alreadyfighting a separate initiative by the FCCrequiring they be up front and transparent about the specifics of your broadband line and how much it costs.

Again, this isnt even regulators trying advanced policies like trying to regulate rates or encourage competition. These are just very basic initiatives trying to force lumbering telecom and cable giants to make pricing transparent and transactions easy. And even these efforts result in years of legal wrangling, assuming they can survive a rightward lurching, corporate-friendly court system in the first place.

And this all comes before the looming Supreme Court rulings designed to make U.S. regulatorsmore impotent than ever. Defanging and defunding U.S. regulators always comes under the pretense that this will somehow result in unbridled innovation, when, as the cable and broadband industry routinely demonstrates, that simply couldnt be any further from the truth.

Cable Giants Insist That Forcing Them To Make Cancellations Easier Violates Their First Amendment Rights

More Law-Related Stories From Techdirt:

Palworld Is a Great Example Of The Idea/Expression Dichotomy In The Midst Of Multiple Controversies Of His Own Making, NYC Mayor Adams Decides The Real Problem Is Social Media Study Shows Throwing Money At Law Enforcement Doesnt Result In Lower Crime Rates

See original here:
Cable Giants Insist That Forcing Them To Make Cancellations Easier Violates Their First Amendment Rights - Above the Law

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on Cable Giants Insist That Forcing Them To Make Cancellations Easier Violates Their First Amendment Rights – Above the Law

Star-Spangled Fascism: Extremists and the First Amendment – GBH News

Posted: at 3:52 am

Star-Spangled Fascism: Extremists and the First Amendment  GBH News

Read more here:
Star-Spangled Fascism: Extremists and the First Amendment - GBH News

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on Star-Spangled Fascism: Extremists and the First Amendment – GBH News

Know Your Rights: Students in Higher Education & the First Amendment – New York Civil Liberties Union

Posted: at 3:52 am

Public Institutions

It depends. As with private universities, your public college or university can discipline you for your speech if it determines that the speech violates the university's student conduct rules, or other established rules and guidelines. However, that investigation and determination must adhere,first and foremost, to First Amendment protections (outlined in the general First Amendment section above), as well as to the rules outlined in the universitys student code of conduct so, knowledge of your college or universitys code of conduct and/or policies is essential.

Before a public institution disciplines a student or student group, such as by expelling the student or revoking official recognition from a group on campus, it must provide the student or student group with due process. This includes providing students with the names of witnesses against them, an opportunity to present a defense, and the results and findings of the hearing. Unless otherwise stated in their own rules, public institutions are not required to provide legal representation for students, allow them to bring a legal representative, allow students or student groups to cross-examine witnesses, or record the hearing.

Read the original:
Know Your Rights: Students in Higher Education & the First Amendment - New York Civil Liberties Union

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on Know Your Rights: Students in Higher Education & the First Amendment – New York Civil Liberties Union

SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings – Society of Professional Journalists

Posted: at 3:52 am

Home > SPJ News > SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings

SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings

CONTACT: Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com Andrew Geronimo, Case Western Reserve University School of Law First Amendment Clinic, andrew.geronimo@case.edu Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Specialist, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS The Society of Professional Journalists is urging a federal appeals court to protect journalists First Amendment right to photograph, record, and redistribute images of court hearings that are livestreamed for remote viewing.

In a legal brief joined by the National Press Photographers Association, SPJ asks the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a federal district court ruling from Michigan, which found that there is no constitutionally protected right to create and publish screenshots of court proceedings even if the courts themselves televise the proceedings.

Although judges have been given latitude to exclude photojournalists from the physical courtroom on the grounds that cameras might be noisy or distracting, the same principle does not apply when a journalist, or other spectator, is recording the hearing in the privacy of a home or workplace, the brief argues: By self-publishing the audio or video of a proceeding, the judge has conceded that there is no harm in letting the public listen and watch.

The brief was filed Jan. 8 by attorneys Andrew Geronimo, Sara E. Coulter and Siobhan Gerber of the Milton and Charlotte Kramer First Amendment Law Clinic at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, who are providing pro-bono counsel to SPJ and NPPA.

The brief was filed in support of a Michigan lawyer, Nicholas Somberg, who is suing prosecutors for seeking sanctions against him after he took a screenshot of a hearing in which he was participating by Zoom and shared the image on Facebook. Prosecutors had initiated contempt proceedings against Somberg under a court rule that restricts the use of cameras inside the courtroom without the judges permission. A U.S. district judge threw out Sombergs lawsuit, agreeing with prosecutors that the rule against cameras inside courtrooms applies equally to a livestreamed remote hearing. Somberg is asking the Sixth Circuit to reinstate his case.

SPJ and NPPA ask the appeals court to overturn the district court, which failed to require the government to demonstrate why it is legitimate to extend the courtroom cameras ban beyond the walls of the courthouse. The organizations argue that the ban is unconstitutionally broad, prohibiting the re-use of any images of courtroom video, even in cases of great public concern that involve no sensitive privacy issues.

News media coverage of the courts serves an essential public-education function, enabling far more people than could ever sit in the courtroom to have the civic benefit of viewing the workings of the justice system for themselves, the brief argues. Video of judicial proceedings, whether broadcast by the news media or streamed directly by the court, provides the most complete record of what took place, rather than leaving the public to rely on second-hand accounts, the accuracy of which might be questioned.

The case is Somberg v. McDonald, No. 23-01872.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

-END-

See more here:
SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings - Society of Professional Journalists

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings – Society of Professional Journalists

SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings – Editor And Publisher Magazine

Posted: at 3:52 am

SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings  Editor And Publisher Magazine

More here:
SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings - Editor And Publisher Magazine

Posted in First Amendment | Comments Off on SPJ co-authors legal brief supporting First Amendment right to record and publish livestreamed court hearings – Editor And Publisher Magazine

Page 11234..1020..»