Litigants Should Assume Liability for Seeking Frivolous Prior Restraint
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the New Mexico Court of Appeals in The New Mexican v. Public Service Company of New Mexico & BHP Billiton New Mexico Coal, Inc. This case concerns an attempt by utility companies to impose a prior restraint on The New Mexican newspaper. The amicus brief argues (like our prior brief in this case) that, while in many instances the Noerr-Pennington doctrine is appropriate to protect petitioning activity, it should not be used to immunize litigants from liability when they frivolously seek a prior restraint, which is considered presumptively unconstitutional. The brief further argues that PSC and BHP’s suit seeking a prior restraint against The New Mexican was not legitimate petitioning activity to which the Noerr-Pennington doctrine applies.