Unconstitutional prior restraint against New York Times lifted — for now — in Veritas case

FPF Logo for circles

Promoting press freedom in the 21st century

A state appeals court has stayed a prior restraint order in a high-profile case between The New York Times and Project Veritas. For three months, the paper had faced an unconstitutional censorship order unprecedented in modern publishing history. The last time it had been subjected to such a broad gag order was the Pentagon Papers case over fifty years ago.

According to the new ruling, the Times is free to publish documents that had previously been restricted, and will not be forced to turn over or destroy any copies it is holding.

From Freedom of the Press Foundation directory of advocacy Parker Higgins:

It's a relief to finally see this outrageous prior restraint suspended, but frankly it never should have happened in the first place. It violates the fundamental press freedom guarantees in the First Amendment, and the potential precedent would allow plaintiffs to silence coverage and squelch all sorts of reporting. We look forward to the underlying order being thrown out entirely.

Project Veritas, the plaintiff in this case, is currently also the subject of a separate case closely watched by press freedom advocates. That case involves an FBI raid of the homes of several people involved with the conservative group.

Donate to support press freedom

Your support is more important than ever.