The actions on Friday restricting certain news organizations from a briefing by the White House Press Secretary raise significant concerns. The D.C. Circuit almost forty years ago held in no uncertain terms that access to White House press facilities cannot be arbitrarily denied to credentialed reporters. Courts routinely have held that government press briefings are the type of public forum to which press access may never be restricted based on objections to the content of a journalist’s reporting. The Supreme Court itself has made clear that, above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. Friday’s actions appear to be a highly dangerous and improper effort to do just that.
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