Up Next, the Supremes!

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Manley,  JManley@plf.org, Pacific Legal Foundation Attorney

NEW YORK (February 23, 2022): The final step in an ongoing legal challenge to the constitutionality of California’s restrictive freelance legislation (AB5) has officially begun. On February 22, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., and the National Press Photographers Association filed a petition for certiorari asking the Supreme Court of the United States to review the case.

The questions presented in the petition address fundamental First Amendment issues important to every journalist and photographer who wants to pursue an independent career without unreasonable government restrictions:

First, “Is a law content-based when it imposes financial and regulatory burdens based on the function or purpose of speech?”

And second, “Does a law that has the effect of depriving classes of speakers of their livelihood by subjecting them to more onerous taxes and regulations impose a First Amendment burden subject to judicial scrutiny?”

The lower courts ruled against ASJA, Inc., and NPPA, rejecting both issues, and the U.S. Supreme Court is the court of last resort. Supreme Court review is always a longshot because only a small fraction of the hundreds of cert petitions filed each year are granted. We’re very lucky, though, because our attorneys from the Pacific Legal Foundation have an enviable record practicing before the Supreme Court: when directly representing clients, the PLF has won 14 times at the Court, while losing only twice.

Thanks are due our PLF attorneys, Jim Manley, Deborah J La Fetra, and Caleb Trotter. We’re in good hands!

Click here to read the petition.  

For more information about ASJA and NIPPA’s case against AB5, visit here.
For more information about the ABC test and how anti-freelancer laws (like AB5 and the ProAct) negatively affect ASJA members, visit here.

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About ASJA:

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is the nation’s professional organization of independent nonfiction writers. ASJA membership consists of outstanding freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing, each of whom has met ASJA’s exacting standards of professional achievement. ASJA brings leadership in establishing professional and ethical standards, and in recognizing and encouraging the pursuit of excellence in nonfiction writing. ASJA headquarters are in New York City. The Society has active regional chapters in a variety of locations. Learn more at www.asja.org.