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FAC Urges California Highway Patrol to Release Public Records Relating to 2016 California State Capitol Violence

The First Amendment Coalition today submitted a letter to the California Highway Patrol, urging CHP to release public records it has refused to disclose regarding the violent clashes at the California State Capitol on June 26, 2016.  The letter also calls CHP to task for the apparent use of a public records request as a …

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San Francisco City Attorney Releases Reams of Records in Response to FAC CPRA Request

In response to multiple California Public Records Act requests from the First Amendment Coalition, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera produced hundreds of pages of emails between Herrera campaign supporters and Herrera’s staff or Herrera himself.  The City Attorney initially asserted that the records were not subject to disclosure under the CPRA.  FAC respectfully disagreed, …

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Victory in the Ninth Circuit for FAC and for Government Transparency

  The First Amendment Coalition today secured an important victory in its long-running fight with the U.S. Department of Justice to bring to public light legal memos analyzing the use of drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad. In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held that FAC is entitled to …

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FAC Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Core Political Speech

The First Amendment Coalition today filed a “friend of court” brief in the United States Supreme Court, urging that court to review and reverse a decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals that punished a political candidate for speech that should have been protected under the First Amendment. The West Virginia court imposed …

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Joint Statement from FAC and EFF on DOJ Leaks Investigations

Jeff Sessions’ Statement About Leak Investigations Raises Deeply Disturbing Issues For Journalists, Transparency Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement today that the Department of Justice has tripled its number of “active leak investigations” in the past six months, and that DOJ is “reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas” raised serious red flags for journalists, their sources, and …

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Memo to Future Historians of the Trump Presidency: Good Luck. You’ll Need It.

BY DAVID SNYDER —Tucked into a February 13 Washington Post article about internal chaos at the White House is a stunning sentence, slipped in almost as an aside: White House “[s]taffers, meanwhile, are so fearful of being accused of talking to the media that some have resorted to a secret chat app — Confide — …

Read moreMemo to Future Historians of the Trump Presidency: Good Luck. You’ll Need It.

FAC to California Court of Appeal: The Public Can’t See What No Longer Exists

FAC recently filed a “friend of court” brief in a California Court of Appeal case addressing an issue of critical importance to the public’s ability to obtain records under the California Public Records Act: should a CPRA requester be required to get a court order—an injunction—to prevent the government from destroying records? The clear answer …

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Gmail Nation: The Privatization of Public Records and Public Access

By DAVID SNYDER—The California Supreme Court ruled last month that records stored on government officials’ personal email accounts are subject to the California Public Records Act. This answer seems obvious: government officials should not be able to conceal otherwise public records by simply using Gmail. And yet the law has been surprisingly slow to recognize …

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Trump By The Numbers: The Best of (New York) Times and the Worst of (New York) Times

BY DAVID SNYDER–Journalism in the age of Trump, as told through some key numbers and a familiar Dickensian device: Story #1 (the best of times) –In the last quarter of 2016, the New York Times had 276,000 new digital subscriptions, the largest three-month jump in six years, and in February the Times exceeded three million …

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Federal Judge Prevents Enforcement of California’s “IMDb Law” on First Amendment Grounds

A federal judge on February 22 issued a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of a California law that sought to prohibit the publication of the ages of actors, producers and others on the popular internet movie database, IMDb. FAC joined several other free-speech advocacy groups in filing a “friend of the court” brief last month opposing …

Read moreFederal Judge Prevents Enforcement of California’s “IMDb Law” on First Amendment Grounds