Coalition News

How we are battling government secrecy

A letter from Executive Director David Snyder In response to COVID-19, many government agencies have moved to close off public and press access to their inner workings.  The government’s urgent need to protect public health, however, should not and cannot come at the expense of the public’s right to know. And so FAC is working harder than ever. In the past few months we have: Led a coalition to push back hard against courts that

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FAC, SPJ NorCal Announce Efforts to Protect Press Freedom One Year After Raid on Journalist 

One year ago this week, San Francisco police conducted a raid on journalist Bryan Carmody, a widely condemned attack on press freedom and a plain violation of California’s shield law protections. State and federal law protects journalists from having to disclose their sources or any unpublished information collected during newsgathering to the government — and prohibits judges from issuing warrants for the search and seizure of such information.  In the interceding 12 months, many questions

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Leading Constitutional Law Scholar Erwin Chemerinsky Joins FAC Board

The First Amendment Coalition today announced the election of Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law, to its board of directors. Chemerinsky, regarded as one of the leading constitutional law scholars in the United States, has argued numerous cases, including First Amendment challenges, at the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of 11 books, including “We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century,” “Closing the Courthouse

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FAC Joins Coalition Urging SF Mayor to Restore Rights Under Sunshine Ordinance

FAC joined a coalition of media and transparency groups urging San Francisco Mayor London Breed to restore all aspects of the city’s open-government ordinance, parts of which she suspended after the city declared an emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. The letter to Mayor Breed sent Friday, April 17 by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a group of local and national organizations comes after the city suspended — indefinitely

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California appeals court overturns sealing of alleged libel

The Electron Frontier Foundation and the First Amendment Coalition achieved a victory in Fargo v. Tejas, when the California Court of Appeal overturned the sealing of the alleged libel. Fargo sued Tejas for posting on Instagram a number of statements allegedly defamatory and subjecting Fargo to contempt and ridicule. A trial court ruled for Fargo and granted a request to seal. FAC and EFF lost a bid to unseal in the trial court and appealed

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