California repeals ban on use of assembly video for political purposes


As I mentioned a few months ago, Brad Benbrook, Steve Duvernay and I have been representing the Firearms Policy Coalition in its First Amendment challenge to a curious California statute—California Penal Code § 9026.5, which makes it a crime to rebroadcast televised California Assembly proceedings "for any political or commercial purpose, including … any campaign for elective public office or any campaign supporting or opposing a ballot proposition submitted to the electors."

On June 9, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England granted our request for a preliminary injunction ordering the state not to enforce the law and promised an opinion in due course. We were ready to keep on fighting to final judgment—the state had indeed been defending the law—but I'm delighted to report that yesterday Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill repealing the prohibition.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, by the way, got involved because it plans on running ads opposing the so-called Safety for All Act of 2016 that will be on the November ballot here in California, and it wants to include assembly hearing footage in those ads. Many thanks to them, and to their president, Brandon Combs, for getting me involved in this very interesting matter.