Summer 2019 Silha Bulletin

Volume 24, Number 3

Below is the Table of Contents for the Summer 2019 edition of the Silha Bulletin. Click on the title to read the full article. 

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Cover Story: Federal Prosecutors Charge Julian Assange With Seventeen Counts Under the Espionage Act, Prompting Renewed Concern for Journalists

On May 23, 2019, several media outlets reported that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had released and indictment alleging 17 additional charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, all of which were under the Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. § 793. 

Searches and Seizures: Police Raid Freelance Journalist’s Home and Office, Prompting Criticism and Legal Action

On May 10, 2019, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that officers from the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) had raided the home and office of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody, seizing documents and electronic devices.  

First Amendment: Second Circuit Rules President Trump Violated the First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Users

On July 9. 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that President Donald Trump could not block Twitter users from his Twitter account, reasoning that he had created a public forum and that blocking users that criticized him or his policies constituted viewpoint-based discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.  

Access: White House Revokes and Suspends Hard Press Passes Under New Rules

In a May 8, 2019 Washington Post opinion piece, Dana Milbank, the Post’s op-ed columnist covering national politics, wrote that he had received an email from the White House Press Office stating that his hard press pass, a physical press credential granting him access to the White House, had been revoked.  

Data Privacy: FTC Reaches $5 Billion Settlement with Facebook, Prompting Praise and Criticism

On July 24, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in a press release that it was imposing a $5 billion fine against Facebook, as well as instituting ever new “privacy restrictions” on the social media company.  

Data Privacy: Debates Continue Over a Federal Data Privacy Law or Framework

In the spring and summer of 2019, momentum for federal data privacy legislation intensified during the 116th Congress, which saw several data privacy bills introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. 

Supreme Court News: Supreme Court Rulings Address First Amendment and FOIA Questions

In the summer of 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in three separate cases related to the First Amendment and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552. 

Supreme Court News: Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Passes Away; Authored Notable First Amendment Majority and Dissenting Opinions

On July 16, 2019, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died of complications following a stroke.  

Defamation: Minnesota Supreme Court, Sixth Circuit, and Eastern District of Kentucky Rule in Notable Defamation Cases

In the summer of 2019, the Minnesota Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky rules in four notable defamation cases.  

Access: Judge Allows Media and Public to Make Copies of Evidence from Trial of Former Minneapolis Police Officer, Restricts Live Streaming of Noor Sentencing Hearing

On May 22, 2019, Hennepin County, Minn. Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Kathryn Quaintance ordered that members of the media and public be allowed not only to view, but also to make copies of key evidence from the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor.  

Searches and Seizures: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Continues to Raise Privacy Issues Amid Data Breach, Searches and Seizures of Electronic Devices

In the summer of 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continued to raise legal questions and concerns related to a data breach exposing thousands of photographs of travelers, vehicles, and license plates, as well as the agency’s continued practice of searching and seizing journalists’ electronic devices at U.S. borders. 

Editorial Control: The New York Times Discontinues Editorial Cartoons in Its International Edition; Canadian Publisher Ends Contract with Editorial Cartoonist

In the summer of 2019, two editorial cartoons depicting President Donald Trump garnered worldwide criticism, leading to controversial responses by The New York Times and Canadian publisher Brunswick News Inc. (BNI). 

First Amendment: Federal Judge Rules Controversial Undercover Video Maker Protected from Certain Damages by First Amendment

On July 16, Judge William Orrick III of the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California issued a tentative ruling in favor of pro-life activist David Daleiden, finding that the First Amendment protected him and his anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from certain damages sought by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (Planned Parenthood).

Silha Center Events: Attorney Kelli L. Sager to Deliver 34th Annual Silha Lecture: “In Defense of Public Trials: Access to Court Proceedings in the Internet Age”

Almost a quarter of a century after the O. J. Simspon criminal trial riveted the country, the public’s ability to observe or even read about court proceedings has barely progressed.