First Amendment: Democrats and Republicans Alike Have Trampled on Free Press Rights

By Edward Fitzpatrick Perhaps it comes as no surprise that prosecutors in President Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporters’ phone and email records as part of a leak investigation. But no one appreciates the danger of such a step more than James Risen, the former New York […]

Janus v. AFSCME and ‘Weaponizing the First Amendment’

By Michael J. Yelnosky On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The majority held that the First Amendment prohibited the enforcement of ubiquitous provisions in collective bargaining agreements between public sector labor unions and government employers requiring all employees represented by the union to pay their share […]

In Wake of Capital Gazette Shooting, Remembering Journalism’s Mission

By Justin Silverman A gunman harboring a grudge against the Capital Gazette, a community newspaper outside Annapolis, Md., opened fire in its newsroom last week killing five staff members and injuring several others. Those killed include the editorial page editor, an editor and features columnist, a longtime sports reporter and editor and a local news […]

Farce and Tragedy of 38 Studios Warrants Full Disclosure

By Edward Fitzpatrick It is our Watergate. The 38 Studios debacle might not have produced a constitutional crisis or a legal battle (over the Nixon White House tapes) that went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. But Curt Schilling’s ill-fated video-game venture certainly produced a monumental crisis here in Rhode […]

Playing Word Games with Massachusetts Public Records Requests

By Colman Herman In an effort to shield information from the public, it is not uncommon for government officials in Massachusetts to play word games when responding to public records requests. Here’s a prime example. I recently made a public records request for certain communications made by the secretary of the Executive Office of Administration […]

Mass. SJC: Board Members Can’t Secretly Evaluate Public Employees By Email

By Erinn Cawthon and Jeffrey Pyle On April 5, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that members of a board of selectmen violated the Open Meeting Law by using email to secretly share their opinions about the performance of a town administrator in advance of a public meeting. The opinion provides important guidance on […]

Media Centralization Imperils Marketplace of Ideas

By David A. Logan Our country loves its myths, and one is that our newspapers exist to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” This romantic notion of the independent commentator may never have been accurate, as for many years the political bent of media outlets was transparent (indeed, sometimes even paid for!). And you don’t need to have […]

Stormy Daniels Interview Giving CBS Legal Team Déjà Vu

By David A. Logan While CBS’ 60 Minutes is apparently deciding whether to use its March 25 broadcast to air an interview with “adult film star” Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump and was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about it, the legal threats raised by Trump-affiliated lawyers are undoubtedly causing the network […]

In Vermont, Open Government is Good Government

The following blog post is one of several that the New England First Amendment Coalition will publish during Sunshine Week, highlighting the need for government transparency and addressing freedom of information concerns throughout the New England states. When posted, these articles can be read here. By Jim Condos | State of Vermont It’s Sunshine Week, a national […]