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Empower Texans v. Geren

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  1. Newsgathering

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed an amicus brief in Empower Texans v. Geren, a matter currently before the Fifth Circuit that considers whether legislative immunity shields state legislators from lawsuits alleging viewpoint discrimination in how they distribute press passes. The brief argues that a press credentialing decision not dictated by a generally applicable policy (including one motivated by the content of a journalist’s reporting) is “administrative” not “legislative” and thus outside the scope of legislative immunity. The brief also argues that, even if “legislative” in nature, a press credentialing decision that is viewpoint discriminatory should not be immune.