Peter D. Keisler
, Assistant Attorney General,
Roscoe C. How-
, U.S. Attorney, and
Mark B. Stern
, Attorney, U.S.
Department of Justice.
Opinion for the Court filed by
Larry Flynt and L.F.P., Inc. (the
company that publishes
‘‘Flynt’’ or ‘‘appellants’’) sued Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary
of Defense, and the United States Department of Defense
, injunctive relief against interfer-
ence with its exercise of a claimed First Amendment right of
the news media to have access to U.S. troops in combat
operations, and claiming that DOD’s delay in granting
’s reporter access to U.S. troops in Afghanistan infringed
They further argued that DOD’s Directive con-
trolling media access to military forces facially violates this
same constitutional right.
The District Court dismissed
Flynt’s as-applied constitutional claims for lack of ripeness
and standing, and refused to exercise its discretion under the
Declaratory Judgment Act to declare the pertinent DOD
Directive facially unconstitutional.
This appeal followed.
cause we find that no such constitutional right exists, we will
affirm the District Court’s decision on other grounds.
’s attempts to gain access
Shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the
United States military began combat operations in Afghani-
stan in support of the global war on terrorism.
30, 2001, Flynt wrote a letter to the Honorable Victoria
Clarke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs,
correspondents ‘‘be permitted to
accompany ground troops on combat missions and that said
correspondents be allowed free access to the theater of
United States military operations in Afghanistan and other
countries where hostilities may be occurring as part of Opera-