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Martin v. Rollins

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  1. Newsgathering

The Reporters Committee and 16 media organizations filed an amicus brief in support of K. Eric Martin and Rene Perez in Martin v. Rollins, urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to affirm the trial court’s decision that Massachusetts’ wiretapping statute is unconstitutional to the extent it prohibits secret recording of police officers and other government officials while in the public performance of their duties and where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. The amicus brief argues that the First Amendment protects the right to gather and publish news on matters of public interest — including the public actions of government officials — and that any privacy interests under the statute must give way to the First Amendment issues at stake. It then details the public benefit served when citizens and the news media are able to record government officials in the public performance of their duties and argues that, under certain circumstances, recording officials in public without the recorded officials’ awareness may better serve the public interest.

10-04-19_Martin v. Rollins