Coalition News

Free speech and a fress press were under attack in 2019. But you made a difference.

A letter from the executive director 2019 was a year of grave threats to First Amendment rights. In San Francisco, police raided the home and office of a freelance journalist, Bryan Carmody, seizing his entire newsroom. In Washington, D.C., the Department of Justice blocked efforts to shed light on their seizure of phone and email records from a New York Times journalist, apparently in violation of DOJ’s own rules. And across California, police unions waged

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California vs. the First Amendment: Join FAC For a Live Discussion

Forget Trump. Golden State governments were behind an unrelenting series of affronts to the First Amendment in 2019. Police went after a journalist’s sources with a sledgehammer. The state attorney general threatened to prosecute reporters and fought in court to weaken the state’s new police accountability law. And a series of decisions at the local level ran afoul of free speech and open-government principles. What’s the matter with California? And what can proponents of free

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FAC Moves to Unseal Records in BART Station Murder Case

The First Amendment Coalition today asked a judge to unseal records in the criminal case against John Lee Cowell, the man charged in the stabbing death of teenager Nia Wilson at an Oakland BART station in 2018. FAC’s motion to unseal comes after Cowell’s attorney filed a secret motion to toss all charges, potentially preventing the public from knowing anything about what legal arguments or evidence Cowell is using to try to end his case

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FAC Suit Against San Diego DA Forces Disclosure of Employee Misconduct Records

The First Amendment Coalition has prevailed in a lawsuit against the San Diego district attorney’s office, forcing the disclosure of public records related to accusations of sexual misconduct by public employees. As a result of FAC’s lawsuit, a court ordered the county to turn over dozens of pages of records. District Attorney Summer Stephan’s decision to not comply with the California Public Records Act comes at a cost to taxpayers: The county will pay nearly

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FAC Expands Subpoena Defense Training to Serve More Journalists

The First Amendment Coalition is expanding its Subpoena Defense Initiative, adding free legal seminars in New York and Washington, D.C., to deepen the bench of qualified lawyers able to step up when journalists face threats to press freedom. With generous assistance from First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund, FAC’s Subpoena Defense Initiative makes sure journalists get connected with legal counsel when someone uses the courts to try to unmask sources or force the disclosure of

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