First Amendment lawyers with Jackson Walker LLP are assisting the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press with challenges journalists may face at polling places on Election Day.
Jackson Walker has a long history of representing the news media and litigating challenges to press freedom. Assisting the press on Tuesday are the firm’s longtime First Amendment lawyer Chip Babcock and trial lawyer Joshua Romero.
“There are very specific restrictions in all states regarding access to polling places, and some polling officials may overreach – beyond what the law allows – in trying to keep reporters away,” Mr. Romero said. “In Texas, a person may not use a cell phone, camera or other recording device within 100 feet of polling places. However, the Texas Secretary of State has adopted a policy of permitting ‘non-disruptive’ exit polling within the 100-foot protected area.”
Mr. Babcock advises: “In those instances where there’s a disagreement between a government official at a polling place and a reporter about what’s appropriate under the law and under the First Amendment, that’s where the Jackson Walker hotline comes in. We’ll try to mediate those disputes and figure out a solution.”
The hotline is managed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press at 800-336-4243, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The genius of the First Amendment is that our government doesn’t tell reporters what they should report,” Mr. Babcock said.
For more information, contact Kit Frieden at 800-559-4534 or email@example.com.