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Latest statement on unconstitutional prior restraint against New York Times

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  1. Prior Restraint
"It is an outrageous affront to the First Amendment."

Update: During a hearing on Nov. 23, the trial court declined to lift the prior restraint against the New York Times while the court continues to deliberate. “It is deeply troubling that this court is leaving in place its unconstitutional prior restraint for at least another week,” Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said after the hearing. “Every day that a prior restraint — which is a restriction on publishing — is imposed is an ongoing injury. That’s why they are among the most grievous threats to the First Amendment.”

Today, a state court in New York entered a prior restraint at the request of Project Veritas against the New York Times ordering it to “refrain from further disseminating or publishing any of Project Veritas’ ‘privileged materials'” in its possession, pending a court hearing next week. The order also bars the Times from “further efforts to solicit or acquire” Project Veritas’ “attorney-client privileged materials.”

The following may be attributed to Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

“This is the first prior restraint entered against the New York Times since the Pentagon Papers, and it is an outrageous affront to the First Amendment.

“Prior restraints — which are orders not to publish — are among the most serious threats to press freedom. The trial court should have never entered this order. If it doesn’t immediately vacate the prior restraint, an appellate court must step in and do so.”


The Reporters Committee regularly files friend-of-the-court briefs and its attorneys represent journalists and news organizations pro bono in court cases that involve First Amendment freedoms, the newsgathering rights of journalists and access to public information. Stay up-to-date on our work by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on Twitter or Instagram.