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Conservative Think Tank Sues Evers over Press Access

Conservative Think Tank Sues Evers over Press Access

Created: August 07, 2019 04:33 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A conservative think tank has filed a federal lawsuit against Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, alleging that he violated First Amendment rights of staff members who were denied access to a press briefing.

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The MacIver Institute for Public Policy filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Madison. Evers' spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff had no immediate comment Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges that Evers has refused to extend invitations to press events to reporters for the MacIver News Service, part of the conservative group. The lawsuit also says MacIver does not receive press releases sent to other news outlets.

It cites an Evers February budget briefing where two MacIver reporters were denied access.

MacIver wants the court to prevent Evers from barring MacIver reporters from press events and lists announcing such events.

University of Wisconsin-Madison law and political science professor Howard Schweber says based on the known facts, MacIver's case against Evers is "practically a slam dunk."

Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff says Evers believes in a "fair and unbiased press corps" and is committed to openness in state government.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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