Zurcher vs. the Stanford Daily

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Cristina Piccariello
COMS 400-01
April 16th, 2013
COMS 400
Zurcher v. Stanford Daily 436 U.S. 547 (1978)

Facts
The Stanford Daily, the respondent sought to enjoin Zurcher, the petitioner for abridging the newspaper’s constitutional right of possessing photographs and a report on a demonstration at a hospital. A warrant was issued from Zurcher to search The Stanford Daily for the demonstration photos based on probably cause. The paper then filed a suit claiming the warrants were unconstitutional by right of the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution. Issue

Do the same standards for issuing a warrant apply to the First Amendment freedom of the press, even though they are not suspected of any criminal activity? Rule of Law
Any warrant where the press is involved is not found to abridge the Framers of the Constitution; and may be searched even though the occupants are not suspected for any criminal activity. Analysis

The evidence that the Justices’ used to justify their opinion was of the First Amendment freedom of press and the Fourth Amendment on unreasonable searches. The Court believed that the warrant was not in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments. The precedent that made this case a landmark was of applying the probable cause standard in an unprecedented situation, observed that the reasonable justification match the degree of intrusion. There were five concurrence opinions, of which White and Burger were most notably cited in the case. The concurrence opinion of White brought forth the opinion to court in which Burger, Blackmun, Powell and Rehnquist joined. There were also three dissenting opinions that included Stewart, Marshall and Stevens. Conclusion

In conclusion, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in favor of Zurcher. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the case. If this case had been decided today, Zurcher would not have been in favor of winning this case. The reason why the court ruling would be different is that Congress...
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