United States v. Aldawsari, No. 11-10683 (5th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Appellant, a journalist, appealed from the district court's entry of an order barring communication with the media and its denial of his motion to intervene in a case involving charges of terrorism. The government indicted defendant for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and the day that the indictment was filed, the district court entered an order barring the parties, their representatives, and their attorneys of record from communicating with the news media about the case. On appeal, appellant argued that the district court wrongly found that he had no right to intervene and that the district court's gag order violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights. The court concluded that FRCP 4(a) controlled this appeal and that notice was timely; that the gag order affected appellant's right to gather news and therefore, he had standing to challenge it; but, on the merits, appellant had not shown that the gag order violated the First Amendment where the gag order was not overly broad on its face and the gag order did not violate the Fifth Amendment because the denial of his motion to intervene did not limit his right to earn a living through news gathering in violation of his due process rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.