The New America Foundation’s Michael Kinsley says the Times’ decision to publish a story about a police shooting in Ohio does not violate First Amendment protections of free speech.
The story is titled, “Ohio police shooting victim gets $200K settlement: DOJ” and it was written by James Bresnahan and Joshua Green, who have been with the New America since it was founded in 2004.
The piece was published on the Times website Thursday.
Bresnahns piece, written after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the shooting did not violate the First Amendment, does not say that the article violates any First Amendment restrictions.
The article states that the Ohio police chief told a news conference that the officer who shot and killed the 22-year-old was “trying to stop a fight.”
Bresnahns story also states that an autopsy report showed the officer did not use a taser.
Green told CNN that the decision to not publish the article “wasn’t a matter of principle.”
“The question is whether the First and Fourteenth Amendments are to be interpreted as being in play in this particular case,” Green said.
“There are First Amendment issues here.
The question is how those First Amendment rights are interpreted in the context of this particular shooting.”
The New America foundation has been at the center of an ongoing legal fight over the Times and the article.
In August, a federal judge struck down the paper’s editorial policy, saying the decision was arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.
In September, a state appeals court upheld that decision.
The Ohio Supreme court, however, ruled that Bresns piece was not legally defamatory because the police chief did not mention the incident in his statement to reporters.
The court also said that the Times had not been allowed to use the police shooting as an example to illustrate the First, Fourth and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution.
The decision to remove the story from the Times was not an easy one.
“It was a hard call,” said John W. Whitehead, an attorney at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education who has represented the NewAmerica.
“The First Amendment’s First Amendment protection of speech and the press is broad and clear.
There are many people who feel that the police have the right not to tell their story because of the national controversy about police killings.
But the First Circuit did not find that the story was defamatic.”
Whitehead added that the judge did not have the authority to order the paper to change its policy.
“The courts have a duty to look at every instance in which an important First Amendment issue has been raised,” he said.
“They have a lot of cases to decide.”
Whitehouse said that a ruling by the Fourth Circuit could have a chilling effect on the media and the First amendment in the future.
“In the next few years, we may find ourselves with more First Amendment cases that the Fourth circuit has to decide,” he predicted.
“We’re seeing a chilling of free expression,” said Robert D. Putnam, an expert on First Amendment law at the University of California-Irvine School of Law.