Free Speech and The First Amendment
Case: The case was New York Times Co v. United States at was decided on June 30, 1971.
Brief description of the facts of the case: in 1971 the U.S. had been at war with North Vietnam for six years in which many American soldiers had lost their lives in battle and the Administration was currently facing immense dissent from a large portion of the American people. The Nixon Administration tried to prevent the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing materials that belonged to a classified Defense Department study after Daniel Ellsberg copied more than 7000 pages of classified documents that regarded the history of U.S. activities in Vietnam. Ellsberg believed the American people needed to know what was reported in these documents. In order to make this information public he had to break several laws which included giving copies of these documents to the New York Times and to the Washington Post. Nixon claimed executive authority forcing the New York Tines to suspend publication of the classified information. The first article appeared in the the New York Times on June 13, 1971. The next week the newspaper company received on order from a Court District Judge to cease further publication on grounds that the government claimed such publications would result in injury to the defense interests of the U.S. From a constitutional point of view, the government was articulating it’s intent to enforce prior restraint on the newspaper regarding publishing of the study's findings made by the government. The President argued that prior restraint was necessary for this situation in order to protect national security. The government sought a restraining order that would barring the New York Times from publishing other articles that contained information discovered in the Pentagon Papers. This case was decided together with United States v. Washington Post Co. Justice Black and Douglas argued that the...
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