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FAC Forces Disclosure of CA Gov. Brown’s Request to Pardon Former State Sen. Wright

Nearly 300 pages of previously secret documents became public yesterday after the First Amendment Coalition (FAC) filed a motion to unseal records regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s effort to pardon former state Sen. Rod Wright. The documents—some still heavily redacted—had been originally filed under seal as part of a flawed, longstanding practice in which all papers filed …

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Victory for Transparency: CA Supreme Court Rejects Police Union Effort to Gut Landmark Police Transparency Law

In a significant victory for government transparency and accountability, the California Supreme Court today denied a police union’s last-minute effort to undermine the effectiveness of a new, landmark police transparency law, rejecting the union’s effort to make the law (SB 1421) apply only to records created after January 1, 2019. The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) …

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FAC, Media Coalition Oppose Last-Ditch Effort to Gut Landmark Police Transparency Law

A coalition of media groups led by the First Amendment Coalition (FAC) today filed briefing in the California Supreme Court to oppose a police union’s effort to undermine the effectiveness of a new, landmark police transparency law. The law requires a wide range of records relating to police misconduct to be available to the public—a …

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ProPublica Staffers Win 2018 FAC Award for “Trump Town” Investigative Series

The First Amendment Coalition is proud to announce the recipient of its 2018 Free Speech & Open Government Award is the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, selected for its extensive use of public records to increase transparency around political appointees at the highest levels of government. This year’s award goes to ProPublica staffers Derek Kravitz, Al Shaw, …

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FAC Seeks to Unseal Gov. Brown’s Request to Pardon Embattled Former State Senator

Documents sought are currently barred from public view in the California Supreme Court The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) today filed a motion in the California Supreme Court to unseal records regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s effort to pardon former state Sen. Rod Wright, who was convicted in 2014 on multiple felony counts, including perjury and voter …

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FAC and Local Community Group Sue San Jose Over Secret Negotiations With Google

The First Amendment Coalition (FAC), joined by Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), today sued the city of San Jose to force the disclosure of secret details of its negotiations to sell valuable public land to Google. The suit, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court, seeks records under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) relating to the …

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FAC Attorneys Awarded $100k for Public Records Win

A Santa Clara Superior Court judge has awarded nearly $100,000 in attorneys fees to lawyers representing the First Amendment Coalition (FAC) in its successful California Public Records Act lawsuit against the city of Milpitas. Recognizing that FAC’s suit promoted a “significant public interest…in understanding whether high-ranking city officials were acting improperly,” Judge Sunil R. Kulkarni …

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FAC Sues DOJ Over Trump Administration’s Secret Collection of Journalist’s Records

The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) today sued the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to force the department to disclose records relating to the government’s seizure of confidential telephone and email records from New York Times reporter Ali Watkins. The suit, filed today in federal court in San Francisco under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), …

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FAC Seeks Nominations for 2018 Free Speech & Open Government Award

The First Amendment Coalition is soliciting nominees for the FAC Free Speech & Open Government Award, given each year for performance of exemplary work in the arena of open government. Qualifications for the award are outstanding accomplishment, service or other contributions to “the people’s right to know” about government. The winner, or winners, could be …

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FAC Urges Ninth Circuit to Protect Journalists Who Publish Sensitive Government Information

The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) on Friday filed a “friend of court”  brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, urging that court to reverse a federal district court ruling that jeopardizes important First Amendment protections for journalists who publish sensitive or classified government information. The lower court dismissed claims by the ACLU that the …

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