Texas law restricting drone use upended as unconstitutional
A federal court has ruled a Texas law considerably limiting the use of drones to be unconstitutional, particularly articles restricting images collected by journalists using UAVs in their reporting.
In his ruling, District Judge Robert Pitman of the Western District of Texas in Austin declared elements of the contested law violated constitutional rights, particularly those covered by the First Amendment. Chief among those were strictures the law imposed on journalists using drones in Texas as information- and image-gathering tools in their reporting. The decision issues from a case lodged in 2019 by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), which contested the legislation both prior to and after its passage into law.
Pitman faulted the Texas drone law as impinging on users’ freedom to collect and create content as protected by the First Amendment, and of defining reasons for those prohibitions in an overly vague and broad manner. He took…