Wild horse First Amendment hearing to be held next month
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A federal judge in Nevada has set a hearing Feb. 19 to determine whether the Bureau of Land Management violated the First Amendment rights of a photographer and wild horse protection advocate when it restricted her access to mustang roundups.
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Laura Leigh in February and ordered Judge Larry Hicks in Reno to reconsider whether BLM's restrictions on media access to roundups are constitutional.
Lawyers for the government and Leigh's Wild Horse Education group told Hicks on Tuesday they've been unable to reach an out-of-court settlement.
BLM argues Leigh had been granted no less access than any other member of the public and that the restrictions were necessary for the safety of the horses and the observers.