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N.Y. town violated paper's First Amendment rights, judge rules

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  1. Newsgathering
The City of Yonkers, N.Y., violated the First Amendment rights of a free weekly newspaper when it swept the paper’s…

The City of Yonkers, N.Y., violated the First Amendment rights of a free weekly newspaper when it swept the paper’s news racks from streets and stopped its employees from handing it out, U.S. District Judge Charles L. Brient ruled on Wednesday.

According to the 47-page opinion, a series of articles The Westchester Guardian ran that were critical of the city’s mayor prompted the city to single the paper out.

In the ruling, Brient made permanent a preliminary injunction that stopped the city from interfering with the newspaper’s distribution and also awarded the Guardian legal fees.

This is the first of a series of lawsuits the newspaper has brought against the City of Yonkers. This case didn’t seek any damages, but more than $50 million in damages is wrapped up in the other suits.