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Fort Smith, Ark. resident and attorney Joey McCutchen sued the city when its city administrator presented individual members of the city’s board of directors with a proposed amendment to local ordinances outside of a public meeting, and some of the board members expressed their initial approval or disapproval. A lower court ruled not only that such behavior did not violate the open meetings law, but also that the law – as well as its criminal misdemeanor penalty – was an unconstitutional infringement on the speech of public officials. Joined by the Arkansas Press Association, the Reporters Committee urged the Arkansas Supreme Court to find that the state open meetings law is a reasonable and narrowly-tailored time, place, and manner restriction on when public officials may conduct public business, rather than an unconstitutional restraint on their speech. Neither the law’s definition of “meetings” nor its criminal penalties violate public officials’ free speech or due process rights under the state or federal constitutions, the brief argued.