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September 15, 2021

ABA Constitution Day webinar to focus on the freedom of the press

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2021 – This Constitution Day, on Friday, Sept. 17, the American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will celebrate with a webinar that will focus on the freedom of the press. Legal experts will discuss the current challenges and threats faced by media in the United States, the arrest and harassment of reporters covering social justice demonstrations, denial of access to courts during the 16 months of courthouse closures due to the pandemic, and denial of access to public records and hearings and trials.

What: “How Free is the Free Press?” Sponsored by the
ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

When: 12:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, Sept. 17

Panelists will also discuss the concerns raised by Supreme Court Justices about the need to reform libel law and overrule the landmark 1964 decision of New York Times v. Sullivan; surveillance by the federal government, and the harassment of journalists, especially women and minority journalists online.

The program will include opening remarks by ABA President Reginald M. Turner and Roger A. Fairfax, Jr., dean and professor of law, American University Washington College of Law. Moderating will be Frank D. LoMonte, director, The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications; and Panelists include Matthew Schafer, assistant general counsel, litigation, ViacomCBS;  Carmen Scurato, senior policy counsel, Free Press; Al-Amyn Sumar, counsel, The New York Times Company; and Leita Walker, partner, Ballard Spahr.

There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at 202-662-1039 or [email protected].

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice. Representing nearly 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests and expertise, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and social justice issues and ensures that they remain a focus of law and policy.

The American Bar Association is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.