Saturday, February 18, 2006

Could Governor Kaine ban Virginia employees from talking to Jeff Schapiro

In The Baltimore Sun Co. v. Ehrlich, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Niemeyer, joined by Judges Luttig and Traxler, affirmed the decision by District Judge Quarles to dismiss in the Baltimore paper's constitutional challenge to the Maryland Governor's directive prohibiting state employees from speaking with two Baltimore Sun reporters.

The Court said: "Having access to relatively less information than other reporters on account of one’s reporting is so commonplace that to allow The Sun to proceed on its retaliation claim addressing that condition would 'plant the seed of a constitutional case' in 'virtually every" interchange between public official and press.'"

So, if President Bush prefers Bob Novak to Helen Thomas, that's not a First Amendment violation.

Decision of the Day has this post about the case.

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