Jun 16, 2017

The Media Bite Back: Legal responses to attacks against the media

My June column for the South Carolina Press Association:

The insults and haranguing of the media during Donald Trump’s campaign has continued into his presidency, with Trump and various White House officials continuing to disparage the media and its reporting. Elected officials at the state and local levels have taken up the cause as well, with examples including Texas Governor Greg Abbott joking at a firing range that he would carry around the silhouetted target “in case I see any reporters,” and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin calling a reporter investigating his purchase of a mansion a “sick man” and a “peeping Tom.”

Jun 8, 2017

Juror Gets 30 Days, Fine for Online Research

A juror in a high-profile criminal trial of five members of a church for beating a gay congregant has been held in contempt and sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500 for doing independent research online about (archaic, it turns out) North Carolina law and distributing it to fellow jurors. Besides punishing the juror, the judge also declared a mistrial in the case.