Research & Centers

Silha Center Bulletin

The Silha Bulletin is published three times a year: late fall, late spring, and late summer. It's available here and through the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. Each site will allow you to read the current issue of the Bulletin, as well as search past issues.

If you would like to be notified when a new issue of the Silha Bulletin has been published online, or receive an electronic copy of the Bulletin, please email us at: Please include “Silha Bulletin” in the subject line. Alternatively, you may call the Silha Center at 612-625-3421.

Our mission at the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law is to provide high-quality, comprehensive overview, discussion, and analysis of current issues in media law and ethics. Thank you for reading the Bulletin.

Fall 2019 Silha Bulletin

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

Download the full Bulletin issue (pdf). 

Cover Story: D.C. Circuit Upholds Net Neutrality Repeal But Prevents the FCC from Preempting States’ Rules, Remands Key Issues to the Agency

On Oct. 1, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit released a per curiam opinion upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) December 2017 repeal of net neutrality rules, holding that the FCC had the authority to do so and that the agency had been reasonable in its approach. 

Access: Federal Judge Orders White House to Reinstate Reporter’s Press Credential

On Sept. 3, 2019, Judge Rudolph Contreras of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction brought by Playboy magazine senior White House reporter and CNN political analyst Brian Karem against President Donald Trump’s administration.

Right To Be Forgotten: European Union Top Court Rules Search Engines Do Not Need to Apply the Right to Be Forgotten Globally

On Sept. 24, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the right to be forgotten does not impose a de-referencing obligation on non-European Union (EU) Member State versions of a search engine.  

Leak Investigations: Trump Administration Targets Two More Leakers of Government Information

In May and October 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against two new leaders of government information, including under the Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. § 793.  

Ethics: The Daily Northwestern Removes Content and Apologizes for Protest Coverage, Faces Backlash

On Nov. 10, 2019, Northwestern University’s student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, published an editorial apologizing for its coverage of two student-led protests that occurred during a November 5 event featuring former U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions. 

First Amendment: Letter Sent on Behalf of President Trump Threatens Legal Action Against CNN, Prompting Criticism

On Oct. 18, 2019, The Hollywood Reporter and Reuters reported that a letter sent on behalf of President Donald Trump to CNN President and CEO Jeffrey Zucker and CNN General Counsel David Vigilante had accused the news outlet of violating the Lanham Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq., a federal statute that governs trademarks and also includes provisions against false advertising.

Borders: Judge Rules Border Agents Need “Reasonable Suspicion” to Search and Seize Electronic Devices at U.S. Borders

On Nov. 12, 2019, Judge Denise J. Casper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must have “reasonable suspicion that a [traveler’s electronic] device contains contraband” in order to search and/or seize the device at U.S. borders.  

Reporters in Danger: Legal Action Continues in Cases Stemming from Murder of Khashoggi and Detentioni of Duran Ortega; Oregon Officials and Trump Supporters Raise Press Freedom Issues

In the second half of 2019, legal action continued in cases stemming from the muder of a Saudi journalist and the detaining of a Salvadoran journalist.  

Political Advertising: Social Media Networks, Tech Companies Struggle with Misleading Political Advertisements

Throughout 2019, social media companies faced increased criticism regarding misleading political advertisements on their respective platforms.  

First Amendment: Politicians Continue to Confront Issues in Blocking Social Media Users; Minneapolis Enacts New Social Media Policy

Throughout the second half of 2019, politicians continued to confront issues stemming from blocking constituents on social media. 

Defamation: News Organizations and Journalists Face High-Profile Defamation Cases Brought by Public Officials, Figures

In the second half of 2019, several notable defamation lawsuits were filed, advanced, or resolved. 

Minnesota: Eighth Circuit and Minnesota State Courts Resolve Notable Constitutional Cases

In fall 2019, three notable cases were resolved in cases tied to Minnesota.  

Searches and Seizures: Fifth Judge Orders Release of Warrant Materials Tied to Searches of Freelance Journalist’s Home, Office, and Phone Records; Free Speech Group Files Lawsuit Seeking Additional Records

On Sept. 3, 2019, the First Amendment Coalition (FAC), a free-speech and media support group, released a statement announcing the the organization had succeeded in getting a “fifth and final warrant” unsealed regarding the May 10, 2019 searches of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody’s home, office, and phone records in San Francisco, Calif.  

First Amendment: Ninth Circuit Rules First Amendment Provides Rights of Access to Hear the Sounds of Prisoner Executions

On Sept. 17, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that seven Arizona death-row inmates had plausibly alleged that the Arizona Department of Corrections’ (ADC) new restrictions on the ability of execution witnesses to hear the sounds of the entire execution process violated the inmates’ First Amendment rights. 

Social Media: Harvard Freshman Allegedly Denied Entry into U.S. Over Friends’ Social Media Posts; DHS Proposes Rule Expanding Collection of Social Media Information

On Aug. 27, 2019, The Harvard Crimson reported that U.S. border officials had revoded 17-year-old Harvard freshman Ismail B. Ajjawi’s visa and deported the student to Lebanon after interrogating him about his friends’ political posts on social media. 

Silha Center Events: 34th Annual Silha Lecture Tackles Public and Media Access to Court Proceedings and Records

On Oct. 28, 2019, attorney Kelli L. Sager contended during the 34th annual Silha Lecture that the press has “a critical role to play in the judicial system.”  

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