Free Speech Lawsuit Against Trump Gets Go-Ahead from Judge

March 25, 2020by Jim Morrill, The Charlotte Observer (TNS)
US-TRUMP-LAWSUIT-SIP

Free speech advocates can move forward with a lawsuit alleging U.S. President Donald Trump violated the Constitution by threatening journalists and news organizations who have criticized his administration.

U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield on Tuesday denied Trump’s request to throw out the case, saying the threats are credible because Trump has barred reporters from news conferences before and revoked CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s credentials.

“The press secretary indeed e-mailed the entire press corps to inform them of new rules of conduct and to warn of further consequences, citing the incident involving Mr. Acosta,” Schofield wrote. “These facts plausibly allege that a motivation for defendant’s actions is controlling and punishing speech he dislikes.”

Pen America Center, one of more than 100 centers that make up the PEN International network, sued Trump in federal court in Manhattan in October 2018 seeking an order declaring that Trump’s threats violate the First Amendment.

It also asked the judge to block the president from taking any action in retaliation against members of the White House press corps for speech that he doesn’t like.

The judge declined to issue the order saying Trump “has significant discretion over White House press credentials and reporters’ access to the White House and Air Force One.”

Pen America will now be able to seek documents to bolster its claims that Trump has sought to use regulatory actions to punish critical media, said Pen America said.

“This decision is a victory not just for PEN America and our own writers, but also for the journalists and media outlets doing the vital, risky work of keeping us all informed,” said Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Nossel. “But above all, it is a win for all individuals who depend on a free press to dig out the facts and hold leadership accountable without fear of reprisal.”

The issue is also before a federal appeals court in Washington, where a three-judge panel heard arguments Monday in the government’s appeal of U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras’ September ruling that restored White House credentials to Brian Karem, a correspondent for Playboy magazine.

The appeals court judges seemed skeptical that Trump’s press secretary can suspend a reporter’s special-access White House credential without clear notice and advance warning, The Washington Post reported.

———

©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Litigation

Burr Faces Lawsuit Over Sale of Up to $1.7 Million in Stock
Litigation
Burr Faces Lawsuit Over Sale of Up to $1.7 Million in Stock

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fallout continued this week over revelations that U.S. Sen. Richard Burr dumped up to $1.7 million in stock after private briefings about the coronavirus, including a personal lawsuit against him. Politico reported the shareholder suit against Burr in U.S. District Court for the... Read More

Free Speech Lawsuit Against Trump Gets Go-Ahead from Judge
Litigation
Free Speech Lawsuit Against Trump Gets Go-Ahead from Judge

Free speech advocates can move forward with a lawsuit alleging U.S. President Donald Trump violated the Constitution by threatening journalists and news organizations who have criticized his administration. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield on Tuesday denied Trump’s request to throw out the case, saying the threats... Read More

Lawsuit Against Trump Delayed While Similar Dispute Pending
Law
Lawsuit Against Trump Delayed While Similar Dispute Pending
March 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A federal judge put a lawsuit by Congress against President Donald Trump on hold Friday until other legal action against the White House is resolved. The lawsuit filed by congressional Democrats seeks six years of Trump’s federal tax records. The subpoena they want enforced... Read More

Wisconsin Republicans Oppose Voting Changes Sought Due to Virus Outbreak
State News
Wisconsin Republicans Oppose Voting Changes Sought Due to Virus Outbreak
March 20, 2020
by Dan McCue

The leaders of Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature told a federal judge Thursday they are opposed to a request by Democrats to amend absentee and online primary rules in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The state Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee filed a federal lawsuit... Read More

Led Zeppelin Did Not Steal ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Riff, Court Rules
Law
Led Zeppelin Did Not Steal ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Riff, Court Rules

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court decided Monday that the British rock band Led Zeppelin did not steal portions of its iconic hit “Stairway to Heaven” from a guitarist from another band. The ruling, by an 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of... Read More

Lawsuit Threatened Over Trump Flags Hanging in Rural Pa. Municipal Building
Law
Lawsuit Threatened Over Trump Flags Hanging in Rural Pa. Municipal Building

One flag features Donald Trump standing on a tank. Another has him dressed as Captain America. On the third, the shirtless president is holding a rocket launcher, his biceps ripped. All three flags are hanging on the wood-paneled walls of the Bigler Township municipal building in... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top