Impact: The NYT v. U.S. precedent

SP402 Takes on... Final Draft Project_mhinzdel15_attempt_2015-05-05-14-07-41_fe1c9f4d-70c4-41ec-97d4-0aa8ce89fd36This infographic traces the important cases in which precedent from New York Times Co. v. United States was used and how.

In the New York Times case, the Supreme Court found that allowing prior restraint because of possible “security” issues was too vague. The publication in the New York times “would not cause an inevitable, direct, and immediate event imperiling the safety of American forces” 403 U.S. 713 (1971). Therefore, the government did not overcome a “heavy presumption against” prior restraint.


Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo
Precedent used by Mr. Justice White in a concurring opinion, stating that “according to our accepted jurisprudence, the First Amendment erects a virtually insurmountable barrier between government and the print media so far as government tampering, in advance of publication, with news and editorial content is concerned.”

Nebraska Press Assn. et al. v. Stuart, Judge, et al.
Precedent was used to tear down a prior restraint order. Referring to NYT v. U.S., Justice Burger said that the “Government had not met its heavy burden of showing justification for the prior restraint.”

Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co.
Precedent from NYT v. U.S. was used in this case to emphasis that a government checking newspapers before being printed was a form a prior restraint, which was ruled unconstitutional in the NYT case.

Board of School Commissioners of the City of Indianapolis et al. v. Jacobs et al.
This case used precedent to emphasis the importance of avoiding the chilling effect, which could occur when government (in this case, a school board) uses it’s power to restrict a school newspaper. The Supreme Court of the United States did not rule decidedly on this case, but it is still important to note the use of precedent from NYT v. U.S., because it can also be applied to school newspapers. It is also evident that prior restraint is still an issue in a number of cases and affects many.

This section mentions some related legal issues that have recently come up. First, Garcia v. Google is a Ninth Circuit case that involves copyright law and a questionable injunction. The case was heard on Dec. 15, 2014, and the injunction continues to stand which may violate First Amendment rights. Many media law experts plan to continue looking at this injection to see whether it stands as constitutional or not. So far, however, the Ninth Circuit has ruled it constitutional.

Second, Roger Shuler was arrested and imprisoned for five months in the State of Alabama. This was because he refused to apply a prior restraint that was given to him by a judge that forbade him from posting about Rob Riley (the some of a former governor) on Shuler’s website Legal Schnauzer. He was recently ordered to pay $3.5 million in defamation charges.


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