Cases & Deals

BlueRibbon successfully challenges permitting and fee systems on federal lands

Client(s) BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc.

Jones Day successfully represented BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to preserving access to public lands, in obtaining a preliminary injunction. The case concerned a federal program that requires every person engaged in "commercial filming" on public lands—defined to include any filming activity done on any public lands that might generate any income (e.g., an iPhone video uploaded to YouTube)—to first obtain a permit from the government and pay a fee.

BlueRibbon challenged that capacious permit-and-fee scheme on First Amendment grounds. And after hearing oral argument in Pocatello, the District of Idaho recently agreed. Reasoning that the program likely constituted an impermissible restriction on speech, the court split from a contrary decision by the D.C. Circuit, and preliminarily enjoined the government from enforcing the scheme against BlueRibbon or its members.

Blueribbon Coalition Inc. v. Garland, No. 4:23-cv-00505 (D. Idaho)