A New York judge today ruled that an earlier prior restraint against the New York Times should not be lifted, but instead extended until at least December 1. Freedom of the Press Foundation joined fifty news media organizations in signing an amicus brief urging the court to dissolve its previous order.
The following statement can be attributed to Freedom of the Press Foundation Advocacy Director Parker Higgins:
Today's decision to allow this prior restraint of New York Times publishing to continue — and to restrict the paper's reporters from engaging in common news gathering activities besides — is a shameful development. It is a cornerstone of the law in this country that any prior restraint, even a very temporary one, is constitutionally permissible only in the most extreme scenarios. As the Times noted in its briefing on the issue, the result has been that such an order has not been entered against it since the Pentagon Papers case some 50 years ago.
While it's not totally unheard of for a court to inadvertently cross that line, it's rare and troubling to see a judge double down on that mistake even as legal experts have shone a spotlight on the case.