WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A an appeals court has tossed out a Florida judge’s order that a newspaper remove transcripts of telephone conversations from a story on its website about a jailhouse “snitch” and his cooperation with prosecutors.
The 4th District Court of Appeal sided Tuesday with The Palm Beach Post. Newspaper attorney Martin Reeder argued that Circuit Judge Jack Schramm Cox’s order last month was improper prior restraint on the paper’s First Amendment right to publish information.
Cox had ruled that publication violated informant Frederick Cobia’s right to privacy.
The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled there are few instances in which a judge can block a newspaper from publishing information.
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The story detailed how Cobia bragged in the recordings about getting incriminating information from other jail inmates, including some accused of murder.