Media groups cite 1st Amendment in BLM horse fight

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Associated Press

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 12:03 PM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press says the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is using safety concerns as an excuse to limit media access to wild horse roundups in violation of the First Amendment.

The National Press Photographers Association and more than a dozen newspapers joined the committee in a friend-of-the-court brief backing an advocacy group waging a series of legal battles over mustang roundups in Nevada.

The media groups say journalists routinely face far more dangerous assignments than covering horses. They say reporters should enjoy a minimum of the same unrestricted access to public rangeland as they do to battlefields around the world.

The 9th Circuit sent the case back to U.S. Judge Larry Hicks in Reno last year to determine if the BLM limits are constitutional.

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