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A Victory for Border Journalism: Villarreal v. City of Laredo

November 02, 2021 (1 min read)

Villarreal v. City of Laredo

"If the First Amendment means anything, it surely means that a citizen journalist has the right to ask a public official a question, without fear of being imprisoned. Yet that is exactly what happened here: Priscilla Villarreal was put in jail for asking a police officer a question. If that is not an obvious violation of the Constitution, it’s hard to imagine what would be. And as the Supreme Court has repeatedly held, public officials are not entitled to qualified immunity for obvious violations of the Constitution. The district court accordingly erred in dismissing Villarreal’s First and Fourth Amendment claims on qualified immunity grounds. The district court also erred in dismissing her Fourteenth Amendment claim for failure to state a claim. We reverse in part and affirm in part and remand for further proceedings."

[More about Ms. Villarreal here and here and here.]