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Prior Restraint

Jun 2024

New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Limits on NDAs

Raymond Baldino

The New Jersey Supreme Court clarified the scope of a recently enacted ban on non-disclosure agreements in connection with discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims.

Jan 2024

2023: A Year in Prior Restraints

Seth Stern

Freedom of the Press Foundation’s U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documented 11 prior restraints against journalists in 2023 (plus an 12th issued in January 2024) — the highest number since it began tracking them in 2017.

Sep 2023

Federal Court Blocks Texas’ Book Ban

Michael J. Lambert

Judge Albright issued an Order preliminarily enjoining HB 900, holding that it violated the First Amendment because it compels speech, is unconstitutionally vague, and is an impermissible prior restraint.

Sep 2023

Inadvertent Disclosure of FOIA-Exempt Material Cannot Justify Prior Restraint

Matthew Thornton, Matthew Cate, and Chuck Tobin

The court—which months earlier had ruled that the record fell within the FOIA’s privacy exemption—held that the agency’s attempt to claw back the document and prohibit its dissemination would constitute a prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment.

Jul 2023

Ohio Appellate Court Upholds Post-Trial Libel Injunction

John C. Greiner

An Ohio court recently demonstrated how a court may enjoin a party from libeling someone, without violating the Constitution.

Jun 2023

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Fights Prior Restraint on Publication of Murder Defendant’s Mental Health Report

Jean Maneke

Joseph E. Martineau, attorney with Lewis Rice LLC who is defending the Post-Dispatch, argued that there is a long history of courts rejecting any effort to restrain publication under such circumstances, given that the pleading was lawfully obtained by the reporter in its quick response to the Court.

Oct 2021

Maryland “Broadcast Ban” Is Unconstitutional as Applied to NPR Podcast

Leslie Minora, Max Mishkin, and Charles D. Tobin

A Maryland federal judge has ruled that a state law banning the broadcast of lawfully-obtained recordings of criminal trials violates the First Amendment as applied to a National Public Radio podcast.

Jun 2021

The Pentagon Papers 50 Years Later

George Freeman

Fifty years has not definitively resolved the impact and import of the Pentagon Papers case. Was it a monumental victory for the press? Was it a loss, since for the first time the courts imposed a prior restraint on a newspaper? Or was it an inconsequential one-off, since it hasn’t been a precedent for many…

Mar 2021

PA High Court Upholds Gag Order Forbidding Mother from Speaking Her Own Name

Ross Ufberg

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in the face of a powerful dissent, upheld a stunningly capacious gag order last December.

Feb 2021

Contempt and Suppression Down Under

Peter Bartlett

When the third most powerful man in the Vatican was convicted of molesting two choirboys by an Australian jury in December 2018, media companies scrambled worldwide. Yet in Australia, there was media silence on specific details of the case.