© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WVPB News

Court in Va. Hears Media's Gag Order Appeal in Blankenship Case

blankenship.jpeg
Brianhayden1980
/
wikimedia Commons

A lawyer for five media organizations has urged a federal appeals court to toss out a gag order in former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's criminal case.

Blankenship was CEO when the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia exploded in 2010, killing 29 men. He's charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards.

The Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, NPR, The Associated Press and other news outlets are appealing U.S. District Judge Irene Berger's gag order in the case. 

At a hearing Monday in Richmond, an attorney for the media organizations told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the order violates the First Amendment by barring virtually anyone with knowledge about the case from discussing it publicly. That includes victims' relatives.


WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.