Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) today sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland about codifying specific protections for journalists. The Senators urged the DOJ to protect the critical First Amendment rights of journalists covering demonstrations, protests, and other protected activities—protections that the Ninth Circuit has already affirmed. The letter further requests that the DOJ withdraw its appeal of a U.S. District Court injunction that protects journalists and legal observers’ rights to cover protests. “Protecting the rights established by the First Amendment is crucial to our democracy’s functioning. The federal government must reaffirm its commitment to the First Amendment, not combat or weaken such protections.”
Natalie Seales is a First Amendment Law and Policy Fellow at the News Media Alliance.