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Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A New York judge has upheld an earlier ruling barring the New York Times from publishing or covering documents written by a lawyer for the conservative group Project Veritas, the Times reported.

Why it matters: The ruling, which now also requires the paper to get rid of physical and electronic copies of the documents, is "a highly unusual and astonishingly broad injunction against a news organization," the paper said in a Friday editorial.

  • The Times said they would immediately seek a stay and file an appeal. The documents in question were "obtained legally in the ordinary course of reporting," Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a statement Friday, per the paper.
  • Project Veritas contended the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege.
  • Justice Charles Wood of State Supreme Court in Westchester County said the documents were "not fodder for public consideration and consumption."
  • The order stems from a 2020 libel suit Project Veritas filed against the Times, but the memos predate that case "by several years," the Times reported.

What they're saying: “This ruling should raise alarms not just for advocates of press freedoms but for anyone concerned about the dangers of government overreach into what the public can and cannot know,” Sulzberger said.

The other side: Elizabeth Locke, a lawyer for Project Veritas, said the Times’s "behavior was irregular and outside the boundaries of law."

  • "The court’s thoughtful and well-researched opinion is a victory for the First Amendment for all journalists and affirms the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship.”

Go deeper

Trump asks Supreme Court to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The big picture: A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied Trump's bid to block the committee from obtaining the records earlier this month, saying they aren't protected by his claim of executive privilege.

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.