Feb 10, 2022 - Economy

New York Times can publish Project Veritas memos, court says

The New York Times Building in New York City on February 1, 2022. - The New York Times announced on January 31, 2022, i

The New York Times Building in Manhattan. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The New York Times is at least temporarily allowed to publish documents related to the conservative group Project Veritas, a court ruled Thursday.

Driving the news: A New York State appeals court temporarily stayed an order by a state trial judge, meaning the Times will not need to give up or destroy copies of legal memos written by a lawyer for Project Veritas.

  • The order will not be enforced until a formal appeal can be heard, according to the New York Times, which first reported on the court filings.
  • "We’re pleased with today’s decision to stop the enforcement of prior restraint while the case is being appealed and we look forward to explaining our position in the appeal," a Times spokesperson, Danielle Rhoades Ha, said in a statement.
  • "The use of prior restraint to prohibit newsgathering and block the publication of newsworthy journalism is unconstitutional. No libel plaintiffs should be permitted to use their litigation as a tool to silence press coverage about them."

The other side: "The New York Times improperly published documents that were protected by privilege. We are confident that the Court will continue to recognize this fundamental fact," a Project Veritas spokesperson said in a statement.

Catch up quick: A New York judge last year upheld an earlier ruling barring the Times from publishing or covering documents written by a lawyer for Project Veritas.

  • The ruling drew strong pushback from First Amendment advocates and journalism groups who decried the ruling as "a highly unusual and astonishingly broad injunction against a news organization," the paper wrote in an editorial.
  • An appeals court late last year temporarily lifted the court order requiring the Times to give up or destroy copies of legal memos written for Project Veritas, but the newspaper was barred from publishing the memos.

Go deeper: Judge orders New York Times to get rid of Project Veritas memos

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Project Veritas.

Go deeper