Maricopa County erred in blocking a Gateway Pundit writer from attending on-site election news conferences, a federal appeals court ruled

Gateway Pundit — a website described by PolitiFact as conservative with a high number of false findings about its work — is known for its right-wing lean.

By Sasha Hupka || The Arizona Republic

Maricopa County erred in blocking a Gateway Pundit writer from attending on-site election news conferences, a federal appeals court said Monday.

The order overturned a district court judge’s decision that the county was not obliged to provide Jordan Conradson, the website’s Arizona correspondent, with press credentials. Judges in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the county’s denial of Conradson’s request for a press pass was based on the viewpoints expressed in his writing and violated the First Amendment.

“It is the county’s politically-tinged assessment of Conradson’s prior reporting that appears to have led it to deny him a press pass,” the order read. “That type of viewpoint-based discrimination is exactly what the First Amendment protects against.”

Gateway Pundit — a website described by PolitiFact as conservative with a high number of false findings about its work — is known for its right-wing lean. Conradson has previously spread false information around county elections, amplifying conspiracies around normal voting and counting processes.

Maricopa County officials argued in court that Conradson’s reporting has led to death threats against county employees and that the county has the ability under existing legal precedent in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to set content-neutral limitations on journalists, including restrictions in the interest of security.

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