The Newsroom

Donald Trump bans media from nomination

Is it legal to do so?

NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53626546

Donald Trump has announced that the media will be banned from covering his nomination for President. I don't know anything about the laws regarding media coverage in the USA but surely it goes against the constitution?
VA
valley
Donald Trump has announced that the media will be banned from covering his nomination for President. I don't know anything about the laws regarding media coverage in the USA but surely it goes against the constitution?

Well, to start with it's a bit of a formality anyway considering he's guaranteed to be the nominee, but presumably the rules of the Republican party state that there must be some form of event to do it rather than just an email. Secondly, not all of the delegates can attend, so it's not like it's just the media being shut-out. Thirdly, it's going to be livestreamed according to CNN - it's not like it's an event where the media can ask questions of DT...
DV
dvboy Central (West) Midlands Today
Donald Trump has announced that the media will be banned from covering his nomination for President. I don't know anything about the laws regarding media coverage in the USA but surely it goes against the constitution?

Well, to start with it's a bit of a formality anyway considering he's guaranteed to be the nominee, but presumably the rules of the Republican party state that there must be some form of event to do it rather than just an email. Secondly, not all of the delegates can attend, so it's not like it's just the media being shut-out. Thirdly, it's going to be livestreamed according to CNN - it's not like it's an event where the media can ask questions of DT...

You could argue does the media really need to be there anyway?
Hello, good evening, and remain indoors.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Well according to the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Trump's move could be interpreted as prohibiting.
AS
AlexS Central (East) Midlands Today
Well according to the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Trump's move could be interpreted as prohibiting.

But this is a republican party event that is nothing to do with Congress so it is unlikely that rules that only apply to decisions made by Congress are applicable for this particular event.
CM
cmthwtv West Country (East) Points West
Out of the things we have seen in the last four years, this is a walk in the park.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
AlexS posted:
Well according to the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Trump's move could be interpreted as prohibiting.

But this is a republican party event that is nothing to do with Congress so it is unlikely that rules that only apply to decisions made by Congress are applicable for this particular event.


Thats a good point. I never thought of that.
SC
Schwing World News
AlexS posted:
Well according to the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Trump's move could be interpreted as prohibiting.

But this is a republican party event that is nothing to do with Congress so it is unlikely that rules that only apply to decisions made by Congress are applicable for this particular event.


Thats a good point. I never thought of that.


You are both conflating two issues that are only tangentially connected. You are both right and wrong in equal measure!

The key point to take away from the First Amendment is that the Constitution guarantees the freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and the press. Under no circumstances at all should those freedoms be abridged or prohibited.

There is a tension within the Constitution as to what body is the ultimate arbiter of law within the US; is it the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Executive (the President) or the "States Assembled in Convention". To make it crystal clear, the Framers of the Constitution explicitly said that Congress should not make any law that restricted or prohibited those freedoms. Put another way, the Framers believed these Freedoms were so important that nobody should challenge or change them unless everybody had a say in the process. This means that if the Congress wanted to challenge or change them, they would then have to be put before the individual States to be voted upon in turn ("States Assembled in Convention").

In this instance, nothing has changed. No law has been passed by the Congress to hinder or prohibit the press. The press are still, by law, permitted to attend. However, the GOP has decided that there is no need for the press to attend this year's convention. There is an ongoing public health crisis and it would be irresponsible to risk exposing individuals to Coronavirus. By that standard, @Ne1L C is correct. The decision taken by Trump and the GOP could be seen as an affront to, and a clear breach of, the First Amendment.

Where @AlexS is correct is that this is a GOP event. They get to write the rules. The basic rules that everybody abides by, ie. the Constitution, still apply to them, but there is a bit of latitude at the present time. It's very much a case of "let's not make a bad situation even worse by having the world's press descend on Charlotte, NC in the middle of a pandemic".

For what it's worth, I don't see a problem with it. It will be live-streamed. It is no different to a pooled event with one camera, one photographer and one journalist sharing copy. Journalists have never had the opportunity to question the candidates at a nominating convention. This year's conventions will be no different. Nothing has changed.

To return to the legal tensions within the Constitution, the nominating conventions are not mandated by the Constitution. However, other forces - such as Federal campaign finance laws, the rules set out by either the Commission on Presidential Debates or the Federal Election Commission, or the laws of the individual States - mandate that a convention is held. This means that it would be difficult for the GOP and Trump to remove the Press in its entirety from the process. When something is required by law (a convention), other laws that protect the rights and roles of other entities (freedom of the press) automatically becoming a concerned party.
MA
Matrix London London
Well according to the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Trump's move could be interpreted as prohibiting.


Couple of issues. If we take, as our starting base, 'originalism' (a term for constitutional interpretation based on what the founders' were experiencing) then the rolling show of TV networks would be somewhat missing...

But, let us just assume that we're keeping with interpretative constitutionalism (to say, a reading that keeps abreast with the times). Even by that standard, the test fails. There is nothing to stop (or prohibit in a legalistic sense) a reporter's work in covering the nomination, which is an internal party mechanism.

On that basis, it's akin to a party holding a meeting behind closed doors. The result will be in the public domain and will be reported, either by first hand accounts or through the press releases to follow. So, to answer your question, as much as I despise Trump, it does not contravene the constitution, nor, for that matter, most other press norms and conventions.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I've had a piece of advice from a fellow forum user over the name of the thread and how it could be transferred to Metropol. With that in mind im unoffically changing the thread title to:

Upcoming Republican Convention - Coverage.
Trump wants to ban media - is this legal?


Thanks for all the feedback
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Well according to the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Trump's move could be interpreted as prohibiting.


Couple of issues. If we take, as our starting base, 'originalism' (a term for constitutional interpretation based on what the founders' were experiencing) then the rolling show of TV networks would be somewhat missing...

But, let us just assume that we're keeping with interpretative constitutionalism (to say, a reading that keeps abreast with the times). Even by that standard, the test fails. There is nothing to stop (or prohibit in a legalistic sense) a reporter's work in covering the nomination, which is an internal party mechanism.

On that basis, it's akin to a party holding a meeting behind closed doors. The result will be in the public domain and will be reported, either by first hand accounts or through the press releases to follow. So, to answer your question, as much as I despise Trump, it does not contravene the constitution, nor, for that matter, most other press norms and conventions.


Apologies for the double post. I studied British Politics for A-Levels (swot I know) and it seems so simple compared to the US. It is a foregone conclusion and yes it is a party issue but I assumed because it involved the head of state it would have been somehow protected by the first amendment.
MA
Matrix London London
Well according to the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Trump's move could be interpreted as prohibiting.


Couple of issues. If we take, as our starting base, 'originalism' (a term for constitutional interpretation based on what the founders' were experiencing) then the rolling show of TV networks would be somewhat missing...

But, let us just assume that we're keeping with interpretative constitutionalism (to say, a reading that keeps abreast with the times). Even by that standard, the test fails. There is nothing to stop (or prohibit in a legalistic sense) a reporter's work in covering the nomination, which is an internal party mechanism.

On that basis, it's akin to a party holding a meeting behind closed doors. The result will be in the public domain and will be reported, either by first hand accounts or through the press releases to follow. So, to answer your question, as much as I despise Trump, it does not contravene the constitution, nor, for that matter, most other press norms and conventions.


Apologies for the double post. I studied British Politics for A-Levels (swot I know) and it seems so simple compared to the US. It is a foregone conclusion and yes it is a party issue but I assumed because it involved the head of state it would have been somehow protected by the first amendment.


Not a swot at all! Some of us have a degree in it.

I think there is an issue to clarify here though. This isn't the Head of State undertaking some constitutional role, it's the Republican Party nominating Trump as their candidate for the general election. Yes, he also has the Presidency but that's a slightly different role from candidate of the Republican Party, if that makes sense.

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