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California federal appeals court: Government may discriminate in giving information to reporters

The Ninth Circuit federal appeals court emphatically rejected a reporter’s claim that San Luis Obispo County avenged her muckraking stories by blocking her access to information provided to other reporters. The judges cited a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing governments to discriminate in dealing with reporters. The opinion said, “The government enjoys extraordinary discretion when selecting ‘private speakers to transmit specific information pertaining to its own [affairs].'” The judges also said that Karen Velie did not show specific evidence of discrimination, only general allegations, so did show denial of equal access. (Metropolitan News-Enterprise, September 4, 2018, by a MetNews Staff Writer)

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