Coalition News

FAC sues Sacramento City Council for emails on redistricting plan

The First Amendment Coalition and a Sacramento community group have filed suit against the Sacramento City Council for access to Council emails and other records concerning a  controversial redistricting plan for Council districts that was adopted last summer. The suit, filed Friday by FAC and Eye on Sacramento, a local nonprofit, grows out of the Council’s refusal to disclose certain records requested by the organizations under the California Public Records Act. The withheld records include

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FAC files amicus brief in US Supreme Court “false speech” case

The First Amendment Coalition has filed an amicus brief in a US Supreme Court case, United States v. Alvarez,  that will test the limits of free speech protection for false speech.  FAC’s brief was written by lawyers Gary Bostwick, Jean-Paul Jassy and Kevin Vick of  LA law firm Bostwick & Jassy, LLP. The Alvarez case concerns a local politician in Southern California who was prosecuted under an obscure federal law, the Stolen Valor Act, which makes

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FAC remembers founding member, P-E Publisher Tim Hays.

Howard H. “Tim” Hays, the much honored former editor, publisher and chairman of the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside, CA, and founding member of the First Amendment Coalition, died October 14 in St. Louis.  He was 94. “Tim was a rarity, a man whose moral compass was set on true,” Mel Opotowsky recalled in a Press-Enterprise article. “That is especially important as a newspaper owner because of the obligation as a public trust. There are many instances

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Obama acts on FAC petition against China’s “Great Firewall”

October 19, 2011—The Obama administration on Wednesday said that, using World Trade Organization rules, it was calling on the government of China to answer detailed questions about its censorship of the internet–in particular, the blocking of websites of US-based businesses seeking to tap the vast Chinese consumer market. The announcement, which grows out of an initiative of a free speech nonprofit group, the First Amendment Coalition (FAC), is a significant step in investigating and challenging

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Brown vetoes bill limiting cellphone searches by police

Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed SB 914, a bill sponsored by the First Amendment Coalition that would have required police to get a warrant before searching through the smart phones and other electronic devices of people they arrest. The bill would have overridden a recent California Supreme Court decision allowing warrantless searches of cellphones. Interpreting federal law, the Court ruled that in a search “incident to arrest,” police can treat the files on a suspect’s

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