The Reporters Committee filed an amicus brief on behalf of several news organizations in support of a challenge to Utah's "agricultural operation interference" statute, or "ag-gag" law, arguing that the restrictions interfere with the First Amendment rights of those who want to inform the public about important matters involving food safety.
The Reporters Committee submitted a letter, joined by 12 news organizations, to the U.K. parliament's Home Affairs Committee in advance of its hearing where Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has been compelled to testify about national security implications of its reporting on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The Reporters Committee and 25 other media organizations argued to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its decision to deny standing to a Yale Law School clinic violates the First Amendment, under which access to judicial proceedings is a right that all members of the public share. The brief also argues that the FISA Court should grant motions by the ACLU, MFIAC and ProPublica, Inc. to release more opinions that explain the legal basis of NSA surveillance programs. This brief concerns the same FISA Court opinions as an earlier media coalition brief.)
The Reporters Committee and several news organizations signed on to a letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney protesting access limits that bar news photographers from covering official activities of the president, while the White House later releases official photos of the same events.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 13 other news organizations filed an amicus brief in the Northern District of California in support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's challenge to the NSA's phone data collection program. The brief argues that mass call tracking compromises confidential reporter-source relationships to the detriment of the public interest.
The Reporters Committee and 19 other news organizations filed an amicus brief with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals urging it to accept jurisdiction to hear an immediate appeal of the denial of a special motion to dismiss under the D.C. anti-SLAPP statute.
The Reporters Committee filed an amicus brief with the Virginia Supreme Court in a case involving access to University of Virginia professor Michael Mann's email exchanges related to his climate change research, arguing that the lower court's definition of "proprietary information" that is exempt from disclosure is far too broad and would make any document in the possession of a government agency exempt from the Virginia records act.
The Reporters Committee wrote to a Shelby County, Ala., circuit court judge arguing that a blogger, Roger Shuler, should not be kept in jail on a contempt charge for refusing to remove articles from his web site. Shuler has been held for more than two weeks for violating a judge's order. The court has not issued a judgment on the underlying libel suit. The letter requested that the court rescind the civil contempt order entered against Mr. Shuler for violating the unconstitutional prior restraint and unseal the records in the case.
The Reporters Committee and seven other organizations filed an amicus brief with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals urging it to reverse an order of the D.C. Superior Court denying a Wikipedia editor's special motion to quash under the D.C. anti-SLAPP statute.
A coalition of news media organizations submitted comments to the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, which President Obama created to make recommendations on protecting privacy after the public learned about the extent of the NSA surveillance programs and the operations of the FISA court. The coalition recommended a series of changes to better protect the First Amendment rights of the news media and whistleblowers.
The Reporters Committee and two media organizations wrote a letter opposing a defense motion in the murder trial of James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora, Colo. theater shootings. The letter supports the opposition brief filed by a coalition of news organizations covering the trial. The defense motion asks the court to (1) suppress all transcripts of the proceedings; (2) suppress the register of actions; and (3) remove access to most pleadings from its website.
A lower court’s decision to allow the government to limit journalists’ observation of wild horse roundups by the Bureau of Land Management is unconstitutional and should be overturned, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and more than a dozen news organizations argued in a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circ.) in California.
The Reporters Committee and 15 other news organizations filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to overturn a Colorado Supreme Court decision that allowed a defamation verdict to stand without considering whether the statements were substantially true.
A 1979 injunction barred the release of Medicare physician payment data under the federal Freedom of Information Act on the grounds that disclosing such information would be a violation of doctors' personal privacy rights. In 2012 Dow Jones & Company moved to lift the injunction and a court did so this May. In the wake of that ruling the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a request for comment on whether doctors should have a privacy right in Medicare payment data and, if not, what form and means of disclosure HHS should make the record available.
The Reporters Committee and 18 other news organizations filed a brief in the ACLU's case seeking a preliminary injunction against the National Security Agency's collection of telephone toll records from communication service providers. The media groups stressed to the court how such surveillance affects newsgathering and interferes with the ability of reporters to promise confidentiality to their sources.