National Press Photographers Association, et al. v. Steven McGraw, et al. (Texas Drones)

About the Case

In 2013, Texas enacted the Texas Privacy Act, which strictly regulates the use of drones. Though the law is designed to protect individual privacy, it appears equally motivated by a desire to protect corporate interests and prevent recording of sites of pollution and protest. It preemptively limits the ability to take aerial photographs of huge areas of the state, even in the absence of any acute necessity. The Clinic is filed a complaint on behalf of several journalists and news organizations to challenge the constitutionality of the Texas Privacy Act. In its complaint, the Clinic asserts that the law chills protected speech and newsgathering activity by preventing journalists, activists, and others from using drones to investigate misconduct. The Clinic won summary judgement.

Coverage of the case:

Dallas Observer: Photojournalists Group Challenges Texas' Drone Law

Austin American-Statesman: Lawsuit: Texas limits on drone photos violate free speech

Courthouse News Service: Journalists Sue Texas Over Ban on Drone Photography

Texas Observer: It's Illegal to Take Drone Photos of Cattle Feedlots in Texas. Press Groups Say that Violates the First Amendment.