Hawaii Ban on Photographing Human Remains Older Than 50 Years?

That’s what Hawaii Administrative Rules §§ 13-300-1, -32(c) seems to say (though I’m not sure there’s any actual statutory authorization for this). And William Aila, Chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, wrote a memo two weeks ago to “[a]ll news agencies” stressing the prohibition. (For some opinionated background on this, see here.)

But I doubt such a prohibition is constitutional. Though the First Amendment rules related to newsgathering and in particular photography are not well-settled, I think there’s enough protection recognized for photographing things (at least in a place where you are legally entitled to be) that such a ban would be struck down. If anyone knows more about what has happened to similar restrictions (if any) elsewhere, I’d love to hear it.

Thanks to Dan Devaney for the pointer.

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