District of Columbia

Supreme Court ignores requests for video and audio access to health care ruling

Amanda Simmons | Newsgathering | News | June 28, 2012
June 28, 2012

Disregarding appeals made by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on behalf of nearly 50 news media organizations and the Senate Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Supreme Court did not allow live video or audio coverage in the courtroom today, when it announced its historic decision upholding President Obama’s health care overhaul law.

Judge grants motion to dismiss 'birther' libel case under D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, First Amendment

Emily Miller | Libel | News | June 5, 2012
June 5, 2012

A libel case brought by a 'birther' -- those who question whether President Obama is a natural-born American and eligible to be president -- ended prematurely when a U.S. district judge granted a magazine's motion to dismiss under the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, which protects speech relating to issues of public interest.

D.C. court upholds dismissal of defamation suit against pro-Israel lobbying group

Rachel Bunn | Libel | News | May 1, 2012
May 1, 2012

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by a former employee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) over comments a spokesman made to The New York Times.

Court rules government can withhold intelligence records from UK parliamentary group under FOIA

Rachel Bunn | Freedom of Information | News | April 6, 2012
April 6, 2012

A U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ruled earlier this week that a group consisting of more than 50 members of the United Kingdom’s Parliament is considered a foreign “government entity” and cannot obtain information from U.S. intelligence agencies under a provision in the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Judge rules records of 2010 mining explosion exempt

Haley Behre | Freedom of Information | Feature | March 12, 2012
March 12, 2012

A U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. ruled that some materials -- including attorney-client documents and identifying information about the miners -- related to a mine explosion in 2010 do not have to be released under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

D.C. journalist arrested, charged with assaulting officer

Haley Behre | Newsgathering | Feature | February 14, 2012
February 14, 2012

A Washington Times reporter was arrested while covering the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. and said she was struck by police, but declined to disclose whether she will file a formal complaint.

Judge orders release of misconduct report in Stevens trial

Kristen Rasmussen | Secret Courts | Feature | February 9, 2012
February 9, 2012

An investigative report about alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the corruption case against the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens will be released after a Washington, D.C., federal judge yesterday found that the public's right of access overcame several of the lawyers’ claims that disclosure of the document would damage their reputations.

D.C. anti-SLAPP law does not apply in federal court

Chris Healy | Libel | Feature | February 6, 2012
February 6, 2012

The special motion to strike provided by D.C.'s anti-SLAPP law, which became effective in March of last year, is unavailable to defendants sued in federal court, the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. ruled last week.

FBI FOIA response was official confirmation of informant's status

Rachel Bunn | Freedom of Information | Feature | February 1, 2012
February 1, 2012

The FBI cannot cite an exclusion provision related to confidential informants under the federal Freedom of Information Act regarding a request for records about civil rights era photographer Ernest Withers after the bureau was found to have officially confirmed Withers was an informant through a records release, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. ruled Tuesday.