On Wednesday January 8th, 2020 Project Veritas Action Fund Will Present Oral Argument in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Support of the First Amendment.
In March of 2016, Project Veritas Action Fund (PVA) Challenged Massachusetts’ Recording Law in Order to Cement Constitutional Protection for Undercover Recording.
In Federal District Court, PVA Won the Right to Secretly Record Government Officials Doing Their Work in Public.
The Decision in PVA v. Conley (now Rollins)* Became the First Case in United States History to Hold That Secretly Recording Government Officials Conducting the Public’s Business in Public is Protected by the First Amendment.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Has Appealed the District Court’s Decision Granting PVA the Right to Secretly Record Public Officials Doing Their Work in Public.
PVA is Challenging the District Court’s Denial of the Right to Record Non-Public Officials When They Have No Expectation of Privacy.
(Boston, MA) Project Veritas Action Fund made First Amendment history in December of 2018 when the Massachusetts law prohibiting undercover recording of public officials was ruled unconstitutional: “[T]he Court holds that [Massachusetts law] may not constitutionally prohibit the secret audio recording of government officials…”
At issue was Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 99 (“Section 99”), which criminalizes the willful “interception”* of any “communication.”
The battle began two years ago, when PVA filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Massachusetts law prohibiting secret recordings of public officials and citizens was unconstitutional. Today, 39 states allow filming without both parties consenting. Massachusetts is one of eleven states that restrict undercover journalists from recording without consent.
Even with PVA’s initial victory, the case is not yet over. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has appealed the court’s ruling that resulted in PVA’s initial victory.
The court said it did not have enough information to rule on the constitutionality of secretly recording private citizens. So PVA appealed.
The PVA Team (represented by Ben Barr) will be attending the hearing in Boston on January 8th, 2020, which is open for the public to attend. A decision from the Court of Appeals is not expected to be delivered for several months.
Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action Fund will never cease fighting for Americans’ constitutional rights. It is imperative that individual citizens are allowed to perform their 1st amendment right to report on public and private corruption. For many citizen journalists, undercover recording is the most effective way of delivering newsworthy facts to the public.
*This case has gone from PVA v. Conley to PVA v. Rollins due to the change in the District Attorney for Suffolk County office holder.