THE FIRST AMENDMENT WINS!

 

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Fane Lozman in

Lozman v. City of Riviera, Beach FL

~ Lozman wins overwhelmingly (8-1) with the First Amendment Foundation’s support ~

 

For the first time in our 30+ years, Florida First Amendment Foundation was at the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

On June 18, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Lozman v. The city of Rivera Beach, ruling in favor of Mr. Lozman in an 8-1 majority opinion, with Justice Kennedy writing for the Court. [italicize case name]

 

You can read the entire Supreme Court opinion here.

 

“This is a fascinating case of great importance for citizens who too frequently find themselves at cross-purposes with government officials elected to represent the public interest,” says the First Amendment Foundation’s President, Barbara Petersen. “It took Mr. Lozman ten years, but in pursuing his case against the city of Riviera Beach, he has done us all a huge service –  depending on certain circumstances, a government agency can be held liable for an agency’s retaliatory policy seeking to punish the citizen’s exercise of First Amendment rights.”

 

“The First Amendment Foundation is proud to have stood with Mr. Lozman in his epic fight to protect First Amendment rights.”

 

Thanks to your continued support, FAF continues to fight for YOUR right to know.

 

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Lozman vs. Riviera Beach?

 

Watch Video!

– Fane Lozman thanks FAF.

WEISS OPEN GOVERNMENT LEGAL FELLOWSHIP

The First Amendment Foundation, a small non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the public’s constitutional right to open government, has a legal fellowship position available for 2L and 3L law students starting in September 2018.  The Weiss Legal Fellow works directly with the FAF president and general counsel on open government issues and will be actively engaged in tracking and analyzing legislation during the 2019 legislative session.  Fellows are paid a small stipend and will be selected on the basis of academic achievement and communication skills, a demonstrated interest in public policy, and a commitment to public service.  Candidates must be available to work in the FAF’s Tallahassee office January through April.  Please submit your resume and a short writing sample by August 1 to sunshine@floridafaf.org. Initial interviews will be conducted via telephone the week of August 6.

Protecting Your Right to Know for over 30 years!

The First Amendment Foundation is a highly visible and accessible source of authoritative information, expertise and assistance to the public and news media. Founded as a non-profit organization in 1984 by The Florida Press Association, the Florida Society of Newspapers Editors and the Florida Association of Broadcasters to ensure that public commitment and progress in the areas of free speech, free press, and open government do not become checked and diluted during Florida’s changing times.

“Florida’s Sunshine Laws guarantee our right to open government, but government officials can get downright creative to keep their decision-making in the dark. Like the state agency that demanded $3,200 to copy a single page of a public record, or the city commissioner who accidentally dropped her government phone in the toilet after a reporter asked her to see her text messages. And of course, you, the taxpayer footed the $1.3 million legal tab to keep our Governor and his cabinet out of court over secret emails. Fortunately, we have the Florida First Amendment Foundation fighting on our side. I urge you to support the First Amendment Foundation and keep Florida government by the people, for the people and in the Sunshine.”

 

Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald columnist and author of Skin Tight, Strip Tease, Skinny Dip, Nature Girl, Star Island,Bad Monkey, Razor Girl and many more.

The purpose of the First Amendment Foundation is to protect and advance the public’s constitutional right to open government by providing education and training, legal aid and information services. Funding is based on voluntary contributions from various organizations and concerned individuals.

“You know, the critical research of my book would not have been possible without access granted by law via Florida’s longstanding Open Government laws. Without Sunshine, stories like the injustice I uncovered in Central Florida could not have come forward. The Florida First Amendment Foundation has been protecting your citizen right to know for the past 31 years. Support the First Amendment Foundation. Support Open Government. It pays dividends.”

 

Gilbert King, February 2016. Pulitzer Prize winning author of Devil in the Grove Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America

Our actions get results. In the past year, we led a broad coalition of open government advocates and defeated a bill that would have made it harder to hold agencies accountable for public records violations. In dozens of courthouses and government offices around the country, citizens – with FAF’s help – won access to the records and meetings.

Still, our job has never been more challenging and, with your help, we will continue to fight efforts to erode Florida’s long-standing tradition of open government.

Find out more about the First Amendment Foundation.

 

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