The National Press Photographers Association joined with a number of groups in the amicus brief Pen America v. Trump to address the government’s argument that an organization cannot establish injury to itself where a defendant has caused the organization to divert resources from its existing activities, if the diversion supports other activities falling within the scope of the organization’s mission.
According to the brief, not only does that position contravene Supreme Court and Second Circuit standing doctrine, but if accepted, it would have significant and deleterious consequences for the ability of press freedom groups to bring suits to vindicate important First Amendment interests — and ultimately, would undermine enforcement of the First Amendment.
NPPA also joined in the amicus brief filed in Belfast High Court in In re Fine Point Films & Trevor Birney. The case raises issues regarding the search and seizure of journalistic materials as well as the publication of information received from an anonymous source resulting in a criminal investigation.
The concern is that this case could have detrimental implications for U.S. media groups publishing or operating in the U.K. The facts here are very similar to the raid in San Francisco of Mr. Carmody where filmmakers are challenging not only their arrest but also the searches of their homes and businesses after they referenced an unpublished draft of a government report in their film sent to them anonymously.
Tuesday was a big day for the Carmody case in San Francisco with two motions:
The first motion was from Carmody himself through his lawyer, Thomas Burke, who asked the court to “quash and revoke” the search warrants police used. The motion also asks the court to order police to “return all of the seized property” immediately. According to a story in the Mercury News, the judge ordered the equipment to be returned but "put off a hearing on whether the devices should have been taken in the first place, and whether the information found on them could be used as evidence."
The second motion comes from the First Amendment Coalition, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, in which NPPA joined, asking the court to unseal the applications for the search warrants in the case. The brief argues that the release of the applications will “shed light on whether police informed” the judges that issued the warrants on whether Carmody “is a journalist, which in turn would make clear whether the judges simply ignored that key fact, or whether they never knew it.”
The Mercury News: "Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng declined to take up questions of whether police violated Carmody’s protections under California law and whether search warrants in the matter should be unsealed. He set hearings on those questions for next month."
With buzz about border officials targeting journalists and human rights advocates, which involved one of our members, Ariana Drehsler, the NPPA has joined in a letter to DHS opposing surveillance and targeting.
The Intercept wrote an in depth story earlier this month about the surveillance and targeting.
Recent updates from NPPA advocacy.
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