HomeNewsMaricopa County Agrees to Pay Massive $175K Settlement for Actions During 2022...

    Maricopa County Agrees to Pay Massive $175K Settlement for Actions During 2022 Election Cycle

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    Maricopa County is being held accountable for at least one electoral cycle 2022 transgression.

    Wednesday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to resolve for $175,000 a lawsuit filed by Gateway Pundit reporter Jordan Conradson and the Pundit’s parent company, TGP Communications.

    The action was taken after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Conradson in a preliminary ruling in December after Maricopa County officials denied him a press pass for the midterm election of 2022.

    The judges determined the reason Conradson was denied the permit when he submitted an application in September is that officials disagreed with his conservative viewpoint and reporting that was critical of the county.

    The 9th Circuit noted in its ruling granting Conradson press access through a preliminary injunction against the county, “A restriction on speech is unconstitutional if it is ‘an effort to suppress expression merely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view,’” citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

    The judges argued that though the county said it was using neutral criteria when it denied Conradson a pass, “evidence put before the district court—including that presented by the County itself—strongly suggests that a predominant reason for the County denying Plaintiffs a press pass was Conradson’s political views.”

    “That type of viewpoint-based discrimination is exactly what the First Amendment protects against,” the 9th Circuit said.

    The Arizona Daily Independent reported that when the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in January, the three-judge panel appeared highly critical of the county’s denial of Conradson’s permit.

    “You seem to be trying to defend a position that in my opinion is just constitutionally indefensible under the First Amendment,” Judge Ryan D. Nelson, a former President Donald Trump appointee, told the county’s attorney.

    Appointed by President Joe Biden, Judge Holly A. Thomas appeared to question Maricopa’s so-called neutral criteria for determining which reporters have access to briefings.

    “It can’t be right that you get to dictate who they talk to, how they go about gathering the news. That can’t be right,” Thomas said.

    Terri Jo Neff of The Independent argued that the judges’ aggressive line of inquiry during the hearing had a direct impact on Maricopa’s decision to pay $175,000 in damages.

    “The settlement shuts down the appeal and now avoids the release of an official ruling that was likely to be more scathing than the comments put forth by the judges in January,” Neff wrote.

    More on this story via The Western Journal:

    So justice finally prevailed in Maricopa County, at least with regard to this First Amendment case. CONTINUE READING…

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