Hustler military access case thrown out
- Judge rules that the case lacks jurisdiction because the Pentagon never issued a formal denial for a Hustler reporter to accompany troops in Afghanistan.
Feb. 27, 2003 — A lawsuit brought against the Defense Department by Hustler publisher Larry Flynt claiming that a reporter for the magazine was illegally denied access to U.S. troops in Afghanistan was thrown out of federal district court in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 19.
Judge Paul Friedman ruled that because no formal denial was ever issued by the Pentagon, he lacked jurisdiction to rule on the issue of a journalist’s constitutional right to accompany U.S. military involved in wartime maneuvers.
Flynt told the Associated Press that he plans to appeal the decision in order to get a final ruling on the matter.
Flynt brought the lawsuit in November 2001 after a Hustler reporter was not allowed to accompany special operations troops in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon currently promises that should war commence in Iraq, reporters will be embedded with troops at all levels of action. However that decision came about internally, not because a court ruled that such access is a protected constitutional right.
(Flynt v. Rumsfeld; Media counsel: Paul J. Cambria Jr., Lipsitz, Green, Fahringer, Roll, Salisbury & Cambria LLP, Buffalo, N.Y.) — KD
© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press