More Bloggers Suing For Gov't Press Passes
from the this-may-not-end-well... dept
We recently wrote about how a lawsuit filed by three alternative publication reporters against NYC for denying them press passes to NY Police press conferences ended in a settlement with NY setting up new rules for getting press credentials. There was a fair amount of back and forth in the comments, with some still believing the lawsuit was sound, even though we had trouble with the idea that the lawsuit had any merit at all. However, it looks like that result may have inspired others as well. A blogger in Maryland is now suing the state for denying him a press pass. The article is long and detailed — and it does sound (yet again) like the government should have issued the guy a press pass, but does that make the lawsuit sound?
Let’s take an extreme example. I write for an “alternative publication,” but if I requested a press pass from the White House, I would totally expect to get turned down. There is limited room in such press conferences, and the White House has every right to determine who gets that access. Same with the NYC police and the Maryland General Assembly. I agree that perhaps these gov’t organizations should have a clear process and clear standards for who gets let in, but I can’t see how it’s a free speech violation to deny press credentials under these circumstances. They’re not saying these people aren’t press, or that they can’t publish whatever they want. They’re just saying they don’t get to enter the building as press.