In Defense of the Fourth Estate, A Landmark First Amendment Lawsuit Against President Trump Will Proceed

Il quarto stato (1901): a march of strikers in Turin, Italy / Public Domain

The term Fourth Estate or fourth power refers to the press and news media both in explicit capacity of advocacy and implicit ability to frame political issues. Though it is not formally recognized as a part of a political system, it wields significant indirect social influence.

The derivation of the term fourth estate arises from the traditional European concept of the three estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The equivalent term “fourth power” is somewhat uncommon in English, but it is used in many European languages, including German (Vierte Gewalt), Spanish (Cuarto poder), and French (Quatrième pouvoir), to refer to a government’s separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial branches.



Today a federal court ruled against President Trump in a lawsuit that claims he has used government power to retaliate against media coverage and reporters he dislikes in violation of the First Amendment. Specifically, the court denied a government motion to dismiss the case and will allow it to go forward on allegations that President Trump has retaliated against the White House press corps and certain holders of security clearances who work as media commentators based on their First Amendment-protected speech.

PEN America, with counsel Protect Democracy, the Yale Law School Media Freedom of Information & Access Clinic, and Davis Wright Tremaine, filed the landmark lawsuit to stop President Trump’s campaign of censorship against the press. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected the president’s bid to dismiss the case, allowing it to proceed to the discovery phase.

Susan Nossel courtesy of PEN America Center under  CC BY-SA 4.0 license

SUZANNE NOSSEL, CEO of PEN AMERICA, the plaintiff in the case, issued the following statement:

“It’s hard to think of a moment in American history in which unvarnished, accurate news reporting has mattered more than it does now. This decision is a victory not just for PEN America and our own writers, but also for the journalists and media outlets doing the vital, risky work of keeping us all informed.  But above all, it is a win for all individuals who depend on a free press to dig out the facts and hold leadership accountable without fear of reprisal.  We sued the president because we believe the First Amendment prohibits him from retaliating against speech he dislikes. We are grateful that this essential suit can move forward, vindicating the rights of all those who rely on a free press.”  
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JENNIFER EGAN, PRESIDENT of PEN AMERICA, issued the following statement:“PEN America is profoundly grateful for the court’s timely decision. Though we filed our lawsuit more than a year ago, the Trump administration’s punitive stance toward the press has continued unabated, with corrosive results for truth, fact, our democracy, and—most recently—public health.”

KRISTY PARKER, COUNSEL for PROTECT DEMOCRACY, one of the organizations representing PEN America in the lawsuit, issued the following statement:

“The president can take to Twitter to complain all he wants about media coverage, but he abuses his power and violates the Constitution when he uses his office to punish members of the media. This is not North Korea—we don’t allow our politicians to control what the press says or punish the media for coverage that Dear Leader doesn’t like. Just the opposite—we rely on the media to hold the powerful accountable to the people. It’s important for all Americans that the press can do their jobs freely.”

The lawsuit was filed by Protect Democracy and co-counsel on behalf of PEN America, a leading organization of writers and literary professionals. The lawsuit claims that President Trump has violated the First Amendment rights of PEN America and its members through his threats to use—and actual use of—government power to punish the speech of those he perceives as critics in the media.

The plaintiffs argued that under the First Amendment’s protection for freedom of speech, President Trump can express his own views and criticize journalists and media organizations, but he cannot issue credible threats or deploy government power to retaliate against the media for its coverage. As laid out in the complaint, the president has in at least five situations used or threatened to use the regulatory and enforcement powers of government to punish the speech of journalists. He has:

  • Initiated a government review to raise postal rates to punish the owner of the Washington Post;
  • Directed DOJ enforcement actions against media companies, including CNN’s parent company Time Warner;
  • Interfered with White House press access;
  • Threatened to revoke broadcast licenses; and
  • Revoked the White House press credentials and security clearances of media commentators.

The court granted the government’s motion to dismiss on claims related to the first four situations, finding that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue, but allowed the case to go forward on the claims related to press credentials and security clearances. The plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment—a ruling that the president’s use of government power to punish the press violates the First Amendment. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could have far-reaching consequences for a president who has made a habit of retaliating against his media critics, and for future presidents who might seek to escalate attacks on the press.

The government had argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue and failed to state a legal claim. Today’s ruling held that the plaintiffs can pursue claims for declaratory relief based on allegations of retaliation against the White House press corps and holders of security clearances.

The case will now move into discovery, where plaintiffs will be able to obtain documents from the government to substantiate its claims that President Trump has sought to use the regulatory state to punish media he does not like.

Read more about the case HERE.

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This post is courtesy of Wikipedia and PEN America.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Itsmission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.



Jamie Dedes:

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FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

LATE BREAKING NEWS: March on Washington & Virtual March / August 19, 2017 / END PRISON SLAVERY, Abolish the 13th Amendment






“And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind” (5:32).

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“Each [hu]man’s step forward is a step forward for all of [hu]mankind.” the great white* brotherhood

* “white” here is not a reference to race but to the Aura of White Light that surrounds the anointed ones, those who have arisen from every race, creed and walk of life to lead others to enlightenment.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: “RESIST” live and virtual events and “Artemis Poetry” calls for submissions

“On January 15, 2017, poets around the U.S., in cities, towns and villages, will gather on the steps of their local city hall to read poetry against the coming dictatorship of Trump.”

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Organized by Alan Kaufman and Michael Rothenberg.

Alan Kaufman is the Editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

“Outlaw poets” is a term of endearment used in reference to poets whose work is featured in the Outlaw Bible. The following is a partial list of the characteristics of such poets:

  • anti-authoritarian personality;
  • anti-Vietnam war activists known for their anti-war rhymes (many poets write about Vietnam who are by no means outlaw poets).
  • Elder poets that gained notoriety via unconventional forms
  • Poets deliberately not included in most academic curriculums
  • Often inspirational to or inspired by the so-called “Beat” movement in American poetry during the mid-20th century

and

Michael Rothenberg is co-founder (with Terri Carrion) of 100 Thousand Poets For Change. He is an American poet, songwriter, editor, and active environmentalist who recently moved to Florida from the San Francisco Bay area. Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Rothenberg received his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1993 he received his MA in Poetics at New College of California. In 1989, Rothenberg and artist Nancy Davis began Big Bridge Press, a fine print literary press, publishing works by Jim Harrison, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen and others. Rothenberg is editor of Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry. Rothenberg is also co-editor and co-founder of Jack Magazine

It’s probable that The BeZine January 15, 2017 issue will be devoted to this event. Save the date for both live and virtual events and prepare to submit your poems. Let them be both truthful and artistic . . .

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

 

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind — Emily Dickinson

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The latest issue of ARTEMISpoetry (UK) just landed in the USA with its usual rich assortment of essays, book reviews, art, announcements and – Yes! – of course, a wealth of good poems. (Apologies for not getting a better photograph of the cover.) ARTEMISpoetry is the bi-annual journal (November and May) of the Second Light Network and published under its Second Light Publications imprint. The poetry is by women forty-plus or better. The poems are for everyone. You can order this issue and others through Anne Stewart‘s poetry p f and/or sign up for membershipMembership includes a journal subscription.

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CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

Poetry Deadlines: Issue 18, February 28, 2017 and Issue 19, August 31, 2017. “Women poets only, of any age. Unpublished poetry only and not out in submission elsewhere.  Strict limit: max 4 poems; the total number of lines in all should not exceed 200 lines (i.e. you could send a poem of 200 lines and this would restrict your submission to just one poem).  Two copies, A4 paper only [U.S. standard letter paper – 8 1/2 x 11 is the closest we have in the US to A4], typed or neatly handwritten.  Each numbered sheet to bear the poet’s contact details (name, address, telephone, e-mail). Send to ARTEMISpoetry, ATTN.: Dilys Wood, 3 Springfield Close, East Preston, West Sussex, BN162 SZ.”

Response by April 30 for Issue 18 and October 31 for Issue 19.  Kate Foley is the poetry editor for Issue 18.

Artwork – Black and white photographs or line-art sketches are welcome for submission. Four max.

For new and emerging writers, Second Light also offers “remote” – i.e., distance – workshops.  Check out the website for details.

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HEADS-UP: December 7, 2016,

Poetry Now @ The Department of English and American Studies, The Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University

Our own Michael Dickel is a featured.15289246_10154375245428557_1972176959953952764_o

LATE BREAKING NEWS: London Book Fair Announces International Excellence Awards Winners

The London Book Fair 2016. Few minutes before opening. Olympia, London UK
The London Book Fair 2016. Few minutes before opening. Olympia, London UK

· French publisher Actes Sud wins Adult Trade Publisher
· Readings in Australia crowned Bookstore of the Year
· US and Chinese publishers lead the field with two awards each
· Sudan, Brazil, Poland and New Zealand also won awards

The winners of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, in association with The Publishers Association and sponsored by Hytex,  announced at a prestigious awards ceremony held on the first day of LBF.

French publisher Actes Sud took home The Bookseller Adult Trade Publisher Award and was commended for its “depth and breadth of publishing, second-to-none design and production values, and a ground-breaking list”. The judges also praised its imprint Sindbad “which champions writing from the Arabic and Muslim worlds”.

In a new category for 2016, The Bookstore of the Year Award went to Melbourne-based Readings for “its community outreach, support of Australian authors and its help for non-profit organisations working on literacy initiatives”.

The US had another successful year at the awards, with two wins overall. Words Without Borders won The Publishers Weekly Literary Translation Initiative Award with judges reflecting that “literature in the translation sector is flourishing with momentum, passion and innovation”. In The Global Rights 365 Literary Agent Award category, New-York-based The Barbara J. Zitwer Agency, who had previously been nominated for The Outstanding Contribution Award 2014, took the crown and was praised for “for the grace and persistence of her dealings”.

China had a fantastic night and was awarded two highly coveted prizes. The BookBrunch Children’s and Young Adult Trade Publisher Award was presented to Jieli Publishing House Co. Ltd because of “its broad and inclusive approach” and its catalogue reflecting “the best of both home grown and international authors and books”. Meanwhile, China also won the Market Focus Achievement Award as accepted by government owned CNPIEC (China National Publications Import & Export).

Jacks Thomas, Director, The London Book Fair, said: “The awards represent the very best the publishing industry has to offer across the globe, and we were delighted to see winners from countries as far afield as Sudan, France, Poland, New Zealand and Brazil. For me, meeting and celebrating these publishers’ hard work, dedication and talent is such a fundamental part of the Book Fair. It is these inspiring companies and people around the world who make publishing such a special industry, that I am privileged to work in.”

Earls Court Exhibition Centre from Warwick Road SW5, near to Kensington, Kensington And Chelsea, Great Britain. During the 2009 London Book Fair
Earls Court Exhibition Centre from Warwick Road SW5, near to Kensington, Kensington And Chelsea, Great Britain. During the 2009 London Book Fair

Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive, The UK Publishers Association, said: “The International Excellence Awards provide an incredible opportunity to recognise achievements within the publishing industry globally. It showcases the wealth of cultural diversity driving the production of enriching works enjoyed by people worldwide. From France to New Zealand, from Sudan to China, the commitment and dedication demonstrated by the publishers has been none other than inspirational and it has been an honour to hear their stories and celebrate as part of the London Book Fair.”

The full list of this year’s International Excellence Awards winners is below:

· The Bookstore of the Year Award
o Readings (Australia)

· The Literary Festival Award
o Flupp (Brazil)

· The Publishers Weekly Literary Translation Initiative Award
o Words without Borders (US)
· The Knowledgespeak Academic and Professional Publisher Award
o Auckland University Press (New Zealand)
· The BookBrunch Children’s and Young Adult Trade Publisher Award
o Jieli Publishing House Co. Ltd (China)
· The Bookseller Adult Trade Publisher Award
o Actes Sud (France)
· The China Publishing & Media Journal Educational Learning Resources Award
o SuperMemo World sp. z o.o. (Poland)
· The Global Rights 365 Literary Agent Award
o The Barbara J. Zitwer Agency (US)

· The Education Initiatives Award
o United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) (Sudan)
· The Market Focus Achievement Award
o Market Focus China (China)

· The Total Licensing IP Rights Across Media Award
o The Night Zookeeper (UK)

Also hosted on the night was a selection of awards held in association with The London Book Fair:

· The London Book Fair Simon Master Chairman’s Award
o Ernest Hecht

· The Quantum Publishing Innovation Award
o Reedsy

· The IPA Prix Voltaire 2016
o Raif Badawi (Saudi Arabia)

· The London Book Fair Trailblazer Awards
o George Burgess, Entrepreneur and Marketing Lead at Gojimo
o Clio Cornish, Executive Publisher at HarperCollins
o Nick Coveney, Head of Digital at Kings Road Publishing
o Ella Kahn, Co-Founder of DKW Literary Agency & Bryony Woods, Co-Founder of DKW Literary Agency

· The Association for Publishing Education Dissertation and Project Prizes
o Best Dissertation for a Postgraduate: Veronica Morgan, University College London
o Best Dissertation for an Undergraduate: Fiona Parker, Loughborough University (BA Publishing with English)
o Best Overall Project: Amy Ellis, Oxford Brookes University

· Accessible Books Consortium Award for Accessible Publishing: Initiative (Joint winner)
o Action on Disability Rights and Development (ADRAD) (Nepal)
o DK & the DK Braille Concept Development Team (UK)

· Accessible Books Consortium Award for Accessible Publishing: Publisher
o Elsevier B.V

· The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award
o Gail, Baroness Rebuck, DBE, Chair of Penguin Random House, UK

The awards, which celebrate international excellence in the book industry, cover the whole scope of international publishing, including academic and scholarly publishing, children’s publishing, literary translation and digital innovation. In each award category the judging panel was made up of experts in that sector.

The awards were presented at The London Book Fair, London Olympia Conference Centre on Tuesday 12th April. The drinks reception was sponsored by UKTI.

Announcement courtesy of The London Book Fair; photo credits, 2016 (the first photograph) courtesy of Arielinson under CC BY-SA 4.0 license , 2009 (the second photograph) courtesy of R Sones under CC BY-SA 2.0 license