Posts in Prior Restraints.

The release of hacked emails written by well-known climate scientists has been widely reported around the world, as those emails have raised questions about whether the science behind global warming has been overstated.

This New York Times blog post by the paper's science reporter caused a mini-furor of its own in the blogosphere.  In the post, Andrew Revkin writes of the hacked emails:

The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.

While ... Read More 

In an update to the curious case we highlighted Tuesday, Judge Forte has entered an order dismissing the “gag order” placed on Michelle Langlois after Tracey Martin, the petitioner who sought the gag order, voluntarily dismissed her petition. Judge Forte removed the ban in advance of a hearing scheduled Wednesday on the ACLU's motion to dismiss.Read More 

As we recently discussed, prior restraints on speech and the press have been deemed “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights” by the United States Supreme Court and bear a “heavy presumption” against their constitutionality. A recent Rhode Island state court order, however, raises questions as to the true understanding of prior restraint jurisprudence among lower courts.

A Rhode Island Family Court has barred a woman from posting any information on the internet about a pending child custody case, although the woman is not a party ... Read More 

We have previously reported on prior restraints on media coverage and the interplay between the First Amendment rights of free speech and press and other Constitutional rights.  Prior restraints occur in different forms: “gag orders” imposed by courts, typically through the form of temporary restraining orders or injunctions; licensing requirements and cease and desist orders imposed by regulatory agencies; and “gag statutes” imposed by legislatures.  Additionally, different forms of prior restraints can affect the press equally; a gag order preventing persons from ... Read More 

The Criminal Court for Knox County, Tennessee recently denied motions to prohibit or limit anonymous internet commentary about a capital murder proceeding. The court’s order denying the motion to restrict media coverage is linked here.

We have previously reported on the conflict between the First Amendment rights of the media to obtain access to or to cover criminal proceedings and the right of criminal defendants to receive a fair trial.  We have also reported on the First Amendment right to engage in anonymous speech and on prior restraints on media coverage.  This ... Read More 

The 2008 general election has been hard-fought on the federal and state levels.  We previously reported about the institution of legal actions in two hotly contested U.S. Senate races, and we provided an update on those matters.  In addition to federal races, claims have also been filed in state races, as well. 

For example, on October 20, 2008, fifteen days before the general election, a candidate for a local judicial office in Ohio filed a complaint for defamation against a radio broadcaster related to an editorial broadcast over the air and posted on the Internet in which the broadcaster ... Read More 


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