In early June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. (D.C. Cir.) upholding a policy that requires employees of the State Department, U.S. Information Agency and Agency for International Development to submit for prepublication review articles, speeches and teaching materials that discuss those agencies or U.S. foreign policy matters.
Carolyn Weaver, a part-time journalist for USIA’s Voice of America, was admonished for publishing without clearance in the Columbia Journalism Review an article that was critical of VOA. Weaver challenged the policy as an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech.
A federal district judge dismissed Weaver’s lawsuit, and a divided three-judge appellate panel upheld the dismissal, holding that because the policy requires only agency review and not agency consent, it does not forbid speech.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Weaver’s petition for a writ of certiorari. (Weaver v. USIA; Media Counsel: Stephen Kohn, Washington)