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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." 
First Amendment 
of U.S. Constitution

Learn about our annual First Amendment Institute and how you can become one of 25 journalism fellows

Read about our annual awards for journalists, private citizens and First Amendment advocates

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We welcome contributions to The NEFAC Report from journalists, lawyers, academics or other advocates of government transparency. If you have something to add to the conversation, please let us know. Your stories, experiences and commentaries have broad appeal and value.
Submissions can be emailed to: [email protected]
NEFAC Decries Court Order Banning Publication of Child Custody Article

The New England First Amendment Coalition is deeply concerned about a recent court order preventing the Connecticut Law Tribune from publishing an article based on a publicly released document related to a child custody case. NEFAC believes this order is an unconstitutional prior restraint and a clear violation of the First Amendment. [More] 

Forgetting Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers: Conn. Judge 'Stuns' Legal Community

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Frazzini is a respected, Yale-educated, former legal assistance lawyer, who in 2003 ruled that jurors' names are public when a prosecutor tried to make them secret. But Frazzini stunned the legal community with a prior restraint order issued from the bench against the Connecticut Law Tribune, which was preparing a story about a custody battle in state Juvenile Court. [More] 

Sealed Consumer Complaints Should
Alarm Public, Journalists in All States

I recently found out when a public records request of mine was denied that government officials in Utah will not release complaints or even confirm if they have received any. This is alarming to consumers and journalists in all states who are investigating a company there or seeking information about businesses based in their own states under similar laws. [More] 

Editor Kaiser Opens Annual Institute, 
Asks Fellows to Keep 'Journalism Values'

Marty Kaiser, editor and senior vice president of digital content for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, opened the fourth annual New England First Amendment Institute earlier this month by posing a challenge to this year's journalism fellows: Don't pick up your phone for the duration of my speech. [More] 

NEFAC Joins Effort to Protect Right to Immediately Access Civil Court Documents

The New England First Amendment Coalition recently joined 25 other news media organizations in an amicus brief filed in support of the public's right to immediately access civil court complaints. The case, Courthouse News Service v. Planet, is currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and involves a Superior Court practice of withholding civil complaints until court officials can process the documents. This processing often takes several days or longer. [More]

  Other New England FOI and First Amendment News