LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Orange County Register ended up in the headlines this week after a judge barred the newspaper from covering testimony in a $100 million lawsuit filed against it by newspaper deliverers.

The ruling, which is being appealed, was quickly denounced by some of the nation's most prominent legal scholars as an unconstitutional infringement on free expression.

Orange County Superior Court Judge David C. Velasquez issued the order after attorneys representing some 6,000 newspaper carriers who accuse the paper of labor violations complained that the Register's reporting was biased and could influence a jury in its favor.

The class-action lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial Monday. The newspaper, meanwhile, has appealed the gag order and is awaiting a ruling from a state appeals court.