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Nickolas v. Fletcher et al.

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Miscellaneous
Status: open
Date Of Involvement: 07/10/2006

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Public Citizen filed suit against the governor of Kentucky on behalf of an online journalist, challenging the state's policy of selectively blocking access on state computers to certain websites that the state defines as "blogs." The state decided to block access to the award-winning website on Kentucky politics, BluegrassReport.org, the day after its author was quoted in a front-page New York Times article strongly criticizing the governor. The lawsuit argued that the state's censorship of sites it classifies as blogs is arbitrary, standardless, and constitutes content-based discrimination against non-traditional news websites in violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. After a new governor was elected, Kentucky modified its policy about employee access to blogs, and the case was settled including a payment of attorney fees.