‘Baseless and unconstitutional’: Arizona newspaper to fight Sen. Wendy Rogers’ restraining order

By Ray Stern || The Arizona Republic

Arizona Capitol Times newspaper will fight a court-approved restraining order filed against one of its reporters by state Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, after the journalist tried to ask her questions.

Rogers filed the petition against the reporter because she went to two of Rogers’ residential properties and rang the doorbell.

Flagstaff Justice Court Magistrate Judge Amy Criddle approved the injunction, which threatens reporter Camryn Sanchez with arrest if she violates it. Under state law, Sanchez and the newspaper can request a hearing at the court to explain their position and attempt to get the injunction quashed.

“We intend to challenge this injunction on behalf of Ms. Sanchez because it is baseless and an unconstitutional prior restraint against a reporter investigating public allegations involving the senator,” Capitol Times Publisher Michael Gorman wrote April 24.
“News reporters such as Ms. Sanchez have the right to investigate matters relating to elected officials, which is precisely what Ms. Sanchez has been doing.”

It was the first statement made by the newspaper after it published an article about the injunction last week. Since then, the senator’s claims against Sanchez have received widespread news attention along with criticism.

Rogers made a brief public appearance at the state Senate during a floor session on Tuesday, but left before the end of the session, when reporters are allowed to enter the floor to talk to senators.


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