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Freedom of the Press

Protections against government meddling in the publication information by journalists.

Opinions & Commentaries

The Post Office Appropriation Act of August 24, 1912, 37 Stat. 539, 553, 554, c. 389, in § 2, contains the following:"SEC. 2. . . . That it shall be the duty of the editor, publisher, business manager, or owner of every newspaper, magazine, periodical, or other publication to file with the Postmaster General and the postmaster at the office at which said publication is entered, not later than the first day of April and the first day of October of each year, on blanks furnished by the Post Office Department, a sworn statement setting forth the names and post-office addresses of the editor and managing editor, publisher, business managers, and owners, and, in addition, the stockholders, if the publication be owned by a corporation; and also the names of known bondholders, mortgagees, or other security holders; and also, in the case of daily newspapers, there shall be included in such statement the average of the number of copies of each issue of such publication sold or distributed to paid subscribers during the preceding six months: Provided, That the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to religious, fraternal, temperance, and scientific, or other similar publications: Provided further, That it shall not be necessary to include in such statement the names of persons owning less than one per centum of the total amount of stock, bonds, mortgages, or other securities. A copy of such sworn statement shall be published in the second issue of such newspaper, magazine, or other publication printed *297 next after the filing of such statement. Any such publication shall be denied the privileges of the mail if it shall fail to comply with the provisions of this paragraph within ten days after notice by registered letter of such failure.

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The defendant circulated a newspaper that criticized the United States’ involvement in World War I. He was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 which granted the government wide latitude in punishing expression that could disrupt the United States’ war efforts. Affirming the defendant’s conviction, the Supreme Court stated, “a person may be convicted of a conspiracy to obstruct recruiting by words of persuasion.”

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After a hearing on September 22, 1917, by the Third Assistant Postmaster General, of the time and character of which the relator (plaintiff in error) had due notice and at which it was represented by its president, an order was entered, revoking the second-class mail privilege granted to it in 1911 as publisher of the Milwaukee Leader. So far as appears, all that the relator desired to say or offer was heard and received. This hearing was had and *409 the order was entered upon the charge that articles were appearing in relator's paper so violating the provisions of the National Defense Law, approved June 15, 1917, which has come to be popularly known as the Espionage Act of Congress (c. 30, 40 Stat. 217), as to render it "non-mailable" by the express terms of Title XII of that act. On appeal to the Postmaster General the order was approved. Thereupon the relator filed a petition in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, praying that a writ of mandamus issue, commanding the Postmaster General to annul his order and restore the paper to the second-class privilege. To a rule to show cause the Postmaster General answered, and a demurrer to his answer being overruled and the relator not pleading further, the court discharged the rule and dismissed the petition. The Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia affirmed the judgment of the trial court, and the constitutional validity of laws of the United States being involved the case was brought here by writ of error.

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A Minnesota statute passed in 1925 provided for the "abatement" of a "malicious, scandalous and defamatory newspaper, magazine or other periodical." Near v. State of Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697, 701-02 (1931). J.M. Near published a newspaper called The Saturday Press, which contained articles complaining of the mayor, district attorney, and chief of police, among others, and alleging a Jewish gambling conspiracy. As a result, the county attorney filed an action against the paper to prevent it from publishing any more issues. Near argued that the law violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

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The publishers of more than 1,200 newspapers are members of the Associated Press (AP), a cooperative *4 association incorporated under the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York. Its business is the collection, assembly and distribution of news. The news it distributes is originally obtained by direct employees of the Association, employees of the member newspapers, and the employees of foreign independent news agencies with which AP has contractual relations, such as the Canadian Press. Distribution of the news is made through interstate channels of communication to the various newspaper members of the Association, who pay for it under an assessment plan which contemplates no profit to AP.

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This proceeding brings here for review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida, 156 Fla. 227, 22 So.2d 875, which affirmed a judgment of guilt in contempt of the Circuit Court of Dade County, Florida, on a citation of petitioners by that Circuit Court.

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331 U.S. 367 (1947) CRAIG ET AL. v. HARNEY, SHERIFF. No. 241. Supreme Court of United States. Argued January 9, 1947. Decided May 19, 1947. CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS. *368 Marcellus G. Eckhardt and Ireland Graves argued the cause for petitioners. With them on the brief was Charles L. Black…. Read more

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Beauharnais produced a leaflet that called on the Mayor and City Council of Chicago “to halt the further encroachment, harassment and invasion of white people, their property, neighborhoods and persons, by the Negro.” The leaflet also called for the use of violence to further this goal. Beauharnais was charged under an Illinois law prohibiting exposing “any race, color, creed or religion to contempt, derision, or obloquy[.]”

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We must decide whether § 315 of the Federal Communications Act of 1934 bars a broadcasting station from removing defamatory statements contained in speeches broadcast by legally qualified candidates for public office, and if so, whether that section grants the station a federal immunity from liability for libelous statements so broadcast. Section 315 reads:

"(a) If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station: Provided, That such licensee shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast under the provisions of this section. No obligation is imposed upon any licensee to allow the use of its station by any such candidate."[1]
This suit for libel arose as a result of a speech made over the radio and television facilities of respondent, WDAY, Inc., by A. C. Townley—a legally qualified candidate in the 1956 United States senatorial race in North Dakota. Because it felt compelled to do so by the requirements of § 315, WDAY permitted Townley to broadcast his speech, uncensored in any respect, as a reply to previous speeches made over WDAY by two other senatorial candidates. Townley's speech, in substance, accused his opponents, together with petitioner, Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union of America, of conspiring to "establish *527 a Communist Farmers Union Soviet right here in North Dakota." Farmers Union then sued Townley and WDAY for libel in a North Dakota State District Court. That court dismissed the complaint against WDAY on the ground that § 315 rendered the station immune from liability for the defamation alleged. The Supreme Court of North Dakota affirmed, stating: "Section 315 imposes a mandatory duty upon broadcasting stations to permit all candidates for the same office to use their facilities if they have permitted one candidate to use them. Since power of censorship of political broadcasts is prohibited it must follow as a corollary that the mandate prohibiting censorship includes the privilege of immunity from liability for defamatory statements made by the speakers." For this reason it held that the state libel laws could not apply to WDAY. 89 N. W. 2d 102, 110. We granted certiorari because the questions decided are important to the administration of the Federal Communications Act. 358 U. S. 810.

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Petitioner challenges on constitutional grounds the validity on its face of that portion of § 155-4[1] of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago which requires submission of all motion pictures for examination prior to their public exhibition. Petitioner is a New York corporation owning the exclusive right to publicly exhibit in Chicago the film known as "Don Juan." It applied for a permit, as Chicago's ordinance required, and tendered the license fee but refused to submit the film for examination. The appropriate city official refused to issue the permit and his order was made final on appeal to the Mayor. The sole ground for denial was petitioner's refusal to submit the film for examination as required. Petitioner then brought this suit seeking injunctive relief ordering the issuance of the permit without submission of the film and restraining the city officials from interfering with the exhibition of the picture. Its sole ground is that the provision of the ordinance requiring submission of the film constitutes, on its face, a prior restraint within the prohibition of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The District Court dismissed the complaint on the grounds, inter alia, that neither a substantial federal question nor even a justiciable controversy was presented. 180 F. Supp. 843. The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the case presented merely an abstract question of law since neither the film nor evidence of its content was submitted. 272 F. 2d 90. The precise question at issue here never having *45 been specifically decided by this Court, we granted certiorari, 362 U. S. 917 (1960).

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Four out-of-state distributors sued the Rhode Island Commission to Encourage Morality in Youth. The Commission would notify distributors which books the Commission deemed obscene and would recommend to law enforcement which distributors did not cooperate. The Supreme Court of Rhode Island declined to hold the law unconstitutional and stop its enforcement.

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Sullivan, a Commissioner of the City of Montgomery, Alabama, brought a civil libel suit against the publisher of the New York Times and four individual black clergymen in Alabama for running an ad in the paper. The ad described police action against student demonstrators and a leader of the civil rights movement. Some of the statements in the ad were false. A lower court found in favor of Sullivan, awarding him damages of $500,000.

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378 U.S. 576 (1964) TRALINS v. GERSTEIN, STATE ATTORNEY.   No. 246. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 22, 1964. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, THIRD DISTRICT.Richard Yale Feder and Howard W. Dixon for petitioner. Richard W. Ervin, Attorney General of Florida, Herbert P…. Read more

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380 U.S. 356 (1965) HENRY v. COLLINS. No. 89. Supreme Court of United States. Decided March 29, 1965.[*] ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSISSIPPI. Robert L. Carter, Barbara A. Morris, Jack H. Young and Frank D. Reeves for petitioner in both cases. W. O. Luckett for respondents in both… Read more

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A columnist for the local Laconia Evening Citizen asked in an editorial for the paper, “What happened to all the money last year? and every other year?” when discussing Frank “Fritzie” Baer’s management of a ski resort and public recreation area. Baer brought a claim of libel against the columnist because of the column.

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388 U.S. 447 (1967) ADAY ET AL. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 149. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT.Stanley Fleishman for petitioners. Solicitor General Marshall for the United States. Melvin L. Wulf, Rolland R…. Read more

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388 U.S. 449 (1967) BOOKS, INC. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 323. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT.Stanley Fleishman for petitioner. Solicitor General Marshall, Assistant Attorney General Vinson, Robert S. Erdahl and Marshall Tamor… Read more

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388 U.S. 130 (1967) CURTIS PUBLISHING CO. v. BUTTS.     No. 37. Supreme Court of United States.    Argued February 23, 1967. Decided June 12, 1967.[*] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT.*133 Herbert Wechsler argued the cause for petitioner in No. 37. With him on the brief was… Read more

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388 U.S. 440 (1967) KENEY v. NEW YORK.   No. 2. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COUNTY COURT OF MONROE COUNTY, NEW YORK.Eugene Gressman for petitioner. James H. Biben for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted… Read more

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388 U.S. 441 (1967) FRIEDMAN v. NEW YORK.   No. 7. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.Ira H. Holley and Eugene Gressman for petitioner. Frank S. Hogan for respondent. PER CURIAM…. Read more

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388 U.S. 442 (1967) RATNER ET AL. v. CALIFORNIA.   No. 10. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE DEPARTMENT OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN MATEO.Richard A. Lavine for petitioners. Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General of California, and Robert… Read more

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388 U.S. 443 (1967) COBERT v. NEW YORK.   No. 21. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK.Ephraim London for petitioner. Frank S. Hogan for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and… Read more

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388 U.S. 444 (1967) SHEPERD ET AL. v. NEW YORK.   No. 26. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.Ira H. Holley and Eugene Gressman for petitioners. Frank S. Hogan for respondent…. Read more

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388 U.S. 446 (1967) AVANSINO ET AL. v. NEW YORK.   No. 72. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.Eugene Gressman for petitioners. Frank S. Hogan for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition… Read more

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388 U.S. 448 (1967) CORINTH PUBLICATIONS, INC. v. WESBERRY ET AL.   No. 227. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA.Stanley Fleishman for petitioner. Arthur K. Bolton, Attorney General of Georgia, and G. Ernest Tidwell, Executive Assistant Attorney General, for… Read more

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388 U.S. 450 (1967) ROSENBLOOM v. VIRGINIA.   No. 366. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA.Seymour Horwitz and Melvin L. Wulf for petitioner. James B. Wilkinson for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari… Read more

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388 U.S. 454 (1967) SCHACKMAN ET AL. v. CALIFORNIA.   No. 995. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. APPEAL FROM THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES.Burton Marks for appellants. Roger Arnebergh and Philip E. Grey for appellee. PER CURIAM. The judgments of the Superior Court of California, County… Read more

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Edwin Walker, a retired U.S. general, was reported by the Associated Press to have “[a]ssumed command” of a crowd of anti-desegregation protests at the University of Mississippi and led them in a charge against the U.S. Marshals. The story was published by newspapers subscribing to the Associated Press, and Walker sued for libel and was awarded compensatory damages. This was a companion case to Curtis Pub. Co. v. Butts (1967).

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389 U.S. 50 (1967) CENTRAL MAGAZINE SALES, LTD. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 368. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided October 23, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT.Richard Lipsitz for petitioner. Solicitor General Marshall, Assistant Attorney General Vinson and Jerome M. Feit… Read more

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389 U.S. 47 (1967) POTOMAC NEWS CO. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 164. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided October 23, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT.Stanley M. Dietz for petitioner. Solicitor General Marshall, Assistant Attorney General Vinson and Jerome M. Feit… Read more

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389 U.S. 48 (1967) CONNER v. CITY OF HAMMOND.   No. 259. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided October 23, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE TWENTY-FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, LOUISIANA, PARISH OF TANGIPAHOA.Leonard B. Levy and Stanley Fleishman for petitioner. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is… Read more

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389 U.S. 81 (1967) BECKLEY NEWSPAPERS CORP. v. HANKS.     No. 467. Supreme Court of United States.    Decided November 6, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF WEST VIRGINIA, WYOMING COUNTY.Thurman Arnold and Jack A. Mann for petitioner.Harry G. Camper, Jr., for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for… Read more

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389 U.S. 89 (1967) CHANCE v. CALIFORNIA.   No. 306, Misc. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided November 6, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN MATEO.Marshall W. Krause for petitioner. Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General of California, and Robert R. Granucci and Michael J…. Read more

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This suit for declaratory relief that a Maryland teacher's oath required of appellant was unconstitutional was heard by a three-judge court and dismissed. 258 F. Supp. 589. We noted probable jurisdiction. 386 U. S. 906.

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389 U.S. 573 (1968) I. M. AMUSEMENT CORP. v. OHIO.   No. 260. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided January 15, 1968. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO.Allen Brown for appellant. Melvin G. Rueger and Calvin W. Prem for appellee. PER CURIAM. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio is reversed. Redrup… Read more

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389 U.S. 578 (1968) ROBERT-ARTHUR MANAGEMENT CORP. v. TENNESSEE EX REL. CANALE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL.   No. 679. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided January 15, 1968. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE.Longstreet Heiskell for appellant. George F. McCanless, Attorney General of Tennessee, and Thomas E. Fox, Deputy Attorney General, for appellee. PER… Read more

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390 U.S. 340 (1968) FELTON ET AL. v. CITY OF PENSACOLA.     No. 934. Supreme Court of United States.    Decided March 11, 1968. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, FIRST DISTRICT.Stanley Fleishman, Sam Rosenwein and Hugh W. Gibert for petitioners.Dave Caton for respondent. PER CURIAM…. Read more

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Appellee, Board of Education, dismissed appellant, a teacher, for writing and publishing in a newspaper a letter criticizing the Board's allocation of school funds between educational and athletic programs and the Board's and superintendent's methods of informing, or preventing the informing of, the school district's taxpayers of the real reasons why additional tax revenues were being sought for the schools. At a hearing, the Board charged that numerous statements in the letter were false, and that the publication of the statements unjustifiably impugned the Board and school administration. The Board found all the statements false as charged, and concluded that publication of the letter was "detrimental to the efficient operation and administration of the schools of the district" and that "the interests of the school require[d] [appellant's dismissal]" under the applicable statute. There was no evidence at the hearing as to the effect of appellant's statements on the community or school administration. The Illinois courts, reviewing the proceedings solely to determine whether the Board's findings were supported by substantial evidence and whether the Board could reasonably conclude that the publication was "detrimental to the best interests of the schools," upheld the dismissal, rejecting appellant's claim that the letter was protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, on the ground that, as a teacher, he had to refrain from making statements about the schools' operation "which, in the absence of such position, he would have an undoubted right to engage in."

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392 U.S. 655 (1968) HENRY v. LOUISIANA.   No. 932. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 17, 1968. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA.Thomas Barr III for appellant. Jack P. F. Gremillion, Attorney General of Louisiana, and William P. Schuler, Second Assistant Attorney General, for appellee. PER CURIAM. The motion to dismiss… Read more

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has for many years imposed on broadcasters a "fairness doctrine," requiring that public issues be presented by broadcasters and that each side of those issues be given fair coverage. In No. 2, the FCC declared that petitioner Red Lion Broadcasting Co. had failed to meet its obligation under the fairness doctrine when it carried a program which constituted a personal attack on one Cook, and ordered it to send a transcript of the broadcast to Cook and provide reply time, whether or not Cook would pay for it. The Court of Appeals upheld the FCC's position. After the commencement of the Red Lion litigation, the FCC began a rulemaking proceeding to make the personal attack aspect of the fairness doctrine more precise and more readily enforceable, and to specify its rules relating to political editorials. The rules, as adopted and amended, were held unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals in RTNDA (No. 717) as abridging the freedoms of speech and press.

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396 U.S. 119 (1969) CARLOS v. NEW YORK.     No. 524. Supreme Court of United States.    Decided December 8, 1969. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK.Herald Price Fahringer and Eugene Gressman for petitioner.PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and the… Read more

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The petitioners are the publishers of a small weekly newspaper, the Greenbelt News Review, in the city of Greenbelt, Maryland. The respondent Bresler is a prominent local real estate developer and builder in Greenbelt, and was, during the period in question, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from a neighboring district. In the autumn of 1965 Bresler was engaged in negotiations with the Greenbelt City Council to obtain certain zoning variances that would allow the construction of high-density housing on land owned by him. At the same time the city was attempting to acquire another tract of land owned by Bresler for the construction of a new high school. Extensive litigation concerning compensation for the school site seemed imminent, unless there should be an agreement on its price between Bresler and the city authorities, and the concurrent negotiations obviously provided both parties considerable bargaining leverage.

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398 U.S. 278 (1970) BLOSS ET AL. v. DYKEMA.   No. 1347. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 1, 1970 ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MICHIGAN.PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and the judgment of the Michigan Court of Appeals is reversed…. Read more

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399 U.S. 524 (1970) HOYT ET AL. v. MINNESOTA.   No. 1544. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 29, 1970. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MINNESOTA.PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and the judgment is reversed, Redrup v. New York, 386 U…. Read more

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On September 10, 1960, three days before the New Hampshire Democratic Party's primary election of candidates for the United States Senate, the Concord Monitor, a daily newspaper in Concord, New Hampshire, published a syndicated "D. C. Merry-Go-Round" column discussing the forthcoming election. The column spoke of political maneuvering in the primary campaign, referred to the criminal records of several of the candidates, and characterized Alphonse Roy, one of the candidates, as a "former small-time bootlegger."[1] Roy was not *267 elected in the primary, and he subsequently sued the Monitor Patriot Co. and the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), the distributor of the column, for libel.

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In November 1961, the United States Commission on Civil Rights issued the fifth volume of its Report for that year, a document entitled Justice. A part of Justice was devoted to a study of "police brutality and related private violence," and contained the following paragraph:

"Search, seizure, and violence: Chicago, 1958.— The Supreme Court of the United States decided the case of Monroe v. Pape on February 20, 1961. Although this decision did not finally dispose of the case, it did permit the plaintiff to sue several Chicago police officers for violation of the Federal Civil Rights Acts on the basis of a complaint which alleged that:
". . . [O]n October 29, 1958, at 5:45 a. m., thirteen Chicago police officers led by Deputy Chief of Detectives *281 Pape, broke through two doors of the Monroe apartment, woke the Monroe couple with flashlights, and forced them at gunpoint to leave their bed and stand naked in the center of the living room; that the officers roused the six Monroe children and herded them into the living room; that Detective Pape struck Mr. Monroe several times with his flashlight, calling him `nigger' and `black boy'; that another officer pushed Mrs. Monroe; that other officers hit and kicked several of the children and pushed them to the floor; that the police ransacked every room, throwing clothing from closets to the floor, dumping drawers, ripping mattress covers; that Mr. Monroe was then taken to the police station and detained on `open' charges for ten hours, during which time he was interrogated about a murder and exhibited in lineups; that he was not brought before a magistrate, although numerous magistrate's courts were accessible; that he was not advised of his procedural rights; that he was not permitted to call his family or an attorney; that he was subsequently released without criminal charges having been filed against him." Justice 20-21.
A week later, Time, a weekly news magazine, carried a report of the Commission's new publication. The Time article began:
"The new paperback book has 307 pages and the simple title Justice. It is the last of five volumes in the second report of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, first created by Congress in 1957. Justice carries a chilling text about police brutality in both the South and the North—and it stands as a grave indictment, since its facts were carefully investigated *282 by field agents and it was signed by all six of the noted educators who comprise the commission."
There followed a description, with numerous direct quotations, of one of the incidents described in Justice, and then the following account of the Monroe incident:
"Shifting to the North, the report cites Chicago police treatment of Negro James Monroe and his family, who were awakened in their West Side apartment at 5:45 a. m. by 13 police officers, ostensibly investigating a murder. The police, says Justice, `broke through two doors, woke the Monroe couple with flashlights . . . .' "
The Time article went on to quote at length from the summary of the Monroe complaint, without indicating in any way that the charges were those made by Monroe rather than independent findings of the Commission.

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The Ocala Star-Banner Co., a petitioner in this case, publishes a small daily newspaper serving four counties in rural Florida. On April 18, 1966, the Star-Banner *296 printed a story to the effect that the respondent, Leonard Damron, then the mayor of Crystal River in Citrus County and a candidate for the office of county tax assessor, had been charged in a federal court with perjury, and that his case had been held over until the following term of that court.[1] This story was false. The respondent had not been charged with any crime in federal court, nor had any case involving him been held over, but the story was substantially accurate as to his brother, James Damron.[2] Two weeks later the *297 respondent was defeated in the election for county tax assessor.

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403 U.S. 29 (1971) ROSENBLOOM v. METROMEDIA, INC.       No. 66. Supreme Court of United States.    Argued December 7-8, 1970. Decided June 7, 1971. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT.*30 Ramsey Clark argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the brief was Benjamin Paul.Bernard G…. Read more

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The Nixon administration attempted to stop The New York Times and Washington Post from publishing materials pertaining to a classified Defense Department report regarding United States action in Vietnam. The Supreme Court found that prior restraint was unjustified because publication would not cause immediate harm to American forces.

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A reporter interviewed a number of individuals who produced and used drugs. The reporter refused to disclose the sources to a state grand jury that was investigating drug crimes.

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A graduate student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism published the headline “Motherfucker Acquitted” and reprinted a cartoon depicting policemen raping the Statue of Liberty and Goddess of Justice with the caption “With Liberty and Justice for All” in the Free Press Underground, a newspaper that had been sold on the campus for four years. The student was found to have violated the General Standards of Student Conduct that prohibited “indecent conduct or speech.” The student was expelled. The trial court found the publication legally obscene, and so without constitutional protection, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed.

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The Human Relations Ordinance of the City of Pittsburgh (the Ordinance) has been construed below by *378 the courts of Pennsylvania as forbidding newspapers to carry "help-wanted" advertisements in sex-designated columns except where the employer or advertiser is free to make hiring or employment referral decisions on the basis of sex. We are called upon to decide whether the Ordinance as so construed violates the freedoms of speech and of the press guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. This issue is a sensitive one, and a full understanding of the context in which it arises is critical to its resolution.

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413 U.S. 836 (1973) ALEXANDER ET AL. v. VIRGINIA   No. 71-1315. Supreme Court of the United States.   Argued October 19, 1972. Decided June 25, 1973. CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIAStanley M. Dietz argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioners. James E. Kulp, Assistant Attorney General of Virginia, argued the… Read more

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The respondents, a major metropolitan newspaper and one of its reporters, initiated this litigation to challenge the constitutionality of ¶ 4b (6) of Policy Statement 1220.1A of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.[1] At the time that the case was in the District Court and the Court of Appeals, this regulation prohibited any personal interviews between newsmen and individually designated federal prison inmates. The Solicitor General has informed the Court that the regulation was recently amended "to permit press interviews at federal prison institutions that can be characterized as minimum security."[2] The general prohibition of press interviews with inmates remains in effect, however, in three-quarters of the federal prisons, i. e., in all medium security and maximum security institutions, including the two institutions involved in this case.

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These cases are here on cross-appeals from the judgment of a three-judge District Court in the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs in the District Court were four California prison inmates—Booker T. Hillery, Jr., John Larry Spain, Bobby Bly, and Michael Shane Guile—and three professional journalists—Eve Pell, Betty Segal, and Paul Jacobs. The defendants were Raymond K. Procunier, Director of the California Department of Corrections, and several subordinate officers in that department. The plaintiffs brought the suit to challenge the constitutionality, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, of § 415.071 of the California Department of Corrections Manual, which provides that "[p]ress and other media interviews with specific individual inmates will not be permitted." They sought both injunctive and declaratory relief under 42 U. S. C. § 1983. Section 415.071 was promulgated by defendant Procunier under authority vested in him by § 5058 of the California Penal Code and is applied uniformly throughout the State's penal system to prohibit face-to-face interviews between press representatives and individual inmates whom they specifically name and request to interview. *820 In accordance with 28 U. S. C. §§ 2281 and 2284, a three-judge court was convened to hear the case.[1]

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In a magazine called American Opinion, the John Birch Society accused Gertz, an attorney, of being a “Leninist” and a “Communist-fronter” because he chose to represent clients who were suing a law enforcement officer. Gertz lost his libel suit because the trial judge found that the magazine had not violated the actual malice test for libel, which the Supreme Court had established in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the trial judge’s ruling.

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The issue in this case is whether a state statute granting a political candidate a right to equal space to reply to criticism and attacks on his record by a newspaper violates the guarantees of a free press.

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Petitioners, a mother and her son, brought a diversity action against respondents, a newspaper publisher and a reporter, for invasion of privacy based on a feature story in the newspaper discussing the impact upon petitioners' family of the death of the father in a bridge collapse. The story concededly contained a number of inaccuracies and false statements about the family. The District Judge struck the claims for punitive damages for lack of evidence of malice "within the legal definition of that term," but allowed the case to go to the jury on the "false light" theory of invasion of privacy, after instructing the jurors that liability could be imposed only if they found that the false statements were published with knowledge of their falsity or in reckless disregard of the truth, and the jury returned a verdict for compensatory damages.

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The issue before us in this case is whether, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, a State may extend a cause of action for damages for invasion of privacy caused by the publication of the name of a deceased rape victim which was publicly revealed in connection with the prosecution of the crime.

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Petitioner is the publisher of Time, a weekly news magazine. The Supreme Court of Florida affirmed a *450 $100,000 libel judgment against petitioner which was based on an item appearing in Time that purported to describe the result of domestic relations litigation between respondent and her husband. We granted certiorari, 421 U. S. 909 (1975), to review petitioner's claim that the judgment violates its rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

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The respondent State District Judge entered an order restraining the petitioners from publishing or broadcasting accounts of confessions or admissions made by the accused or facts "strongly implicative" of the accused in a widely reported murder of six persons. We granted certiorari to decide whether the entry of such an order on the showing made before the state court violated the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press.

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430 U.S. 308 (1977) OKLAHOMA PUBLISHING CO. v. DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA, ET AL.     No. 76-867. Supreme Court of United States.    Decided March 7, 1977. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF OKLAHOMA.PER CURIAM.A pretrial order entered by the District Court of Oklahoma County… Read more

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This case presents the question whether the District Court for the District of Columbia should release to respondents certain tapes admitted into evidence at the trial of petitioner's former advisers. Respondents wish to copy the tapes for broadcasting and sale to the public. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the District Court's refusal to permit immediate copying of the tapes was an abuse of discretion. United States v. Mitchell, 179 U. S. App. D. C. 293, 551 F. 2d 1252 (1976). We granted certiorari, 430 U. S. 944 (1977), and for the reasons that follow, we reverse.

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The question presented on this appeal is whether the Commonwealth of Virginia may subject persons, including newspapers, to criminal sanctions for divulging information regarding proceedings before a state judicial review commission which is authorized to hear complaints as to judges' disability or misconduct, when such proceedings are declared confidential by the State Constitution and statutes.[1]

*831 I

On October 4, 1975, the Virginian Pilot, a Landmark newspaper, published an article which accurately reported on a pending inquiry by the Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission and identified the state judge whose conduct was being investigated. The article reported that "[n]o formal complaint has been filed by the commission against [the judge], indicating either that the five-man panel found insufficient cause for action or that the case is still under review." App. 47a. A month later, on November 5, a grand jury indicted Landmark for violating Va. Code § 2.1-37.13 (1973) by "unlawfully divulg[ing] the identification of a Judge of a Court not of record, which said Judge was the subject of an investigation and hearing" by the Commission.

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Respondents, a student newspaper that had published articles and photographs of a clash between demonstrators and police at a hospital, and staff members, brought an action under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against, among others, Petitioners, law enforcement and district attorney personnel, claiming that a search pursuant to a warrant issued on a judge's finding of probable cause that the newspaper (which was not involved in the unlawful acts) possessed photographs and negatives revealing the identities of demonstrators who had assaulted police officers at the hospital had deprived respondents of their constitutional rights.

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438 U.S. 1 (1978) HOUCHINS, SHERIFF OF THE COUNTY OF ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA v. KQED, INC., ET AL.   No. 76-1310. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued November 29, 1977. Decided June 26, 1978. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.*3 Kelvin H. Booty, Jr., argued the cause for petitioner…. Read more

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A New York radio station aired George Carlin’s monologue, “Filthy Words.” Carlin spoke of the words that could not be said on the public airwaves. Although the station warned listeners before its broadcast that the monologue included “sensitive language which might be regarded as offensive to some,” the FCC censured the station for violating FCC regulations which prohibited broadcasting indecent material.

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By virtue of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, neither the Federal nor a State Government may make any law "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . . ." The question here is whether those Amendments should be construed to provide further protection for the press when sued for defamation than has hitherto been recognized. More specifically, we are urged to hold for the first time that when a member of the press is alleged to have circulated damaging falsehoods and is sued for injury to the plaintiff's reputation, the plaintiff is barred from inquiring into the editorial processes of those responsible for the publication, even though the inquiry would produce evidence material to the proof of a critical element of his cause of action.

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In 1974, respondent Reader's Digest Association, Inc., published a book entitled KGB, the Secret Work of Soviet Agents (KGB), written by respondent John Barron.[1] The book describes the Soviet Union's espionage organization and chronicles its activities since World War II. In a passage referring to disclosures by "royal commissions in Canada and Australia, and official investigations in Great Britain and the United States," the book contains the following statements relating to petitioner Ilya Wolston:

"Among Soviet agents identified in the United States were Elizabeth T. Bentley, Edward Joseph Fitzgerald, William Ludwig Ullmann, William Walter Remington, Franklin Victor Reno, Judith Coplon, Harry Gold, David Greenglass, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Morton Sobell, William Perl, Alfred Dean Slack, Jack Soble, Ilya Wolston, Alfred and Martha Stern.[*]*160 claiming that the passages in KGB stating that he had been indicated for espionage and had been a Soviet agent were false and defamatory. The District Court granted respondents' motion for summary judgment. 429 F. Supp. 167 (1977). The court held that petitioner was a "public figure" and that the First Amendment therefore precluded recovery unless petitioner proved that respondents had published a defamatory falsehood with "`actual malice'—that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not," New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 280 (1964). 429 F. Supp., at 172, 176. While the District Court agreed that the above-quoted portions of KGB appeared to state falsely that petitioner had been indicted for espionage, it ruled, on the basis of affidavits and deposition testimony, that the evidence raised no genuine issue with respect to the existence of "actual malice" on the part of respondents. Id., at 180-181. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed. 188 U. S. App. D. C. 185, 578 F. 2d 427 (1978).[2]
*161 We granted certiorari, 439 U. S. 1066 (1979), and we now reverse. We hold that the District Court and the Court of Appeals were wrong in concluding that petitioner was a public figure within the meaning of this Court's defamation cases. Petitioner therefore was not required by the First Amendment to meet the "actual malice" standard of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, supra, in order to recover from respondents.[3]During 1957 and 1958, a special federal grand jury sitting in New York City conducted a major investigation into the activities of Soviet intelligence agents in the United States. As a result of this investigation, petitioner's aunt and uncle, Myra and Jack Soble, were arrested in January 1957 on charges of spying. The Sobles later pleaded guilty to espionage charges, and in the ensuing months, the grand jury's investigation focused on other participants in a suspected Soviet espionage ring, resulting in further arrests, convictions, and *162 guilty pleas. On the same day the Sobles were arrested, petitioner was interviewed by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at his home in the District of Columbia.[4] Petitioner was interviewed several more times during the following months in both Washington and in New York City and traveled to New York on various occasions pursuant to grand jury subpoenas.

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We granted certiorari to consider whether a West Virginia statute violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution by making it a crime for a newspaper to publish, without the written approval of the juvenile court, the name of any youth charged as a juvenile offender.

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The question presented in this case is whether members of the public have an independent constitutional right to insist upon access to a pretrial judicial proceeding, even though *371 the accused, the prosecutor, and the trial judge all have agreed to the closure of that proceeding in order to assure a fair trial.

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448 U.S. 555 (1980) RICHMOND NEWSPAPERS, INC., ET AL. v. VIRGINIA ET AL.     No. 79-243. Supreme Court of United States.    Argued February 19, 1980. Decided July 2, 1980. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA.*558 Laurence H. Tribe argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs were Andrew J. Brent,… Read more

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Section 16A of Chapter 278 of the Massachusetts General Laws,[1] as construed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, requires trial judges, at trials for specified sexual offenses involving a victim under the age of 18, to exclude the press and general public from the courtroom during the testimony of that victim. The question presented is whether the statute thus construed violates the First Amendment as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.

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The owner of a bookstore in Manhattan was convicted of promoting a sexual performance of a child by selling two sexually explicit films involving young boys to undercover police officers. New York argued this was in violation of a state criminal statute that prohibits knowingly promoting sexual performances by children under 16 by distributing material which depicts such performances. It also prohibits such materials that are produced out of state.

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[†]This case presents the question of a State's power to impose a special tax on the press and, by enacting exemptions, to limit its effect to only a few newspapers.

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We granted certiorari to decide whether the guarantees of open public proceedings in criminal trials cover proceedings for the voir dire examination of potential jurors.

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An unusual metaphor in a critical review of an unusual loudspeaker system gave rise to product disparagement litigation that presents us with a procedural question of first impression: Does Rule 52(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prescribe the standard to be applied by the Court of Appeals in its review of a District Court's determination that a false statement was made with the kind of "actual malice" described in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 279-280 (1964)?In the May 1970 issue of its magazine, Consumer Reports, respondent published a seven-page article evaluating the quality of numerous brands of medium-priced loudspeakers. In a boxed-off section occupying most of two pages, respondent commented on "some loudspeakers of special interest," *488 one of which was the Bose 901 — an admittedly "unique and unconventional" system that had recently been placed on the market by petitioner.[1] After describing the system and some of its virtues, and after noting that a listener "could pinpoint the location of various instruments much more easily with a standard speaker than with the Bose system," respondent's article made the following statements:

"Worse, individual instruments heard through the Bose system seemed to grow to gigantic proportions and tended to wander about the room. For instance, a violin appeared to be 10 feet wide and a piano stretched from wall to wall. With orchestral music, such effects seemed inconsequential. But we think they might become annoying when listening to soloists." Plaintiff's Exhibit 2, p. 274.
After stating opinions concerning the overall sound quality, the article concluded: "We think the Bose system is so unusual that a prospective buyer must listen to it and judge it for himself. We would suggest delaying so big an investment until you were sure the system would please you after the novelty value had worn off." Id., at 275.

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This case presents the issue whether parties to civil litigation have a First Amendment right to disseminate, in advance of trial, information gained through the pretrial discovery process.

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Moved to action by a widely felt need to sponsor independent sources of broadcast programming as an alternative to commercial broadcasting, Congress set out in 1967 to support and promote the development of noncommercial, educational broadcasting stations. A keystone of Congress' program was the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, Pub. L. 90-129, 81 Stat. 365, 47 U. S. C. § 390 et seq., which established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a nonprofit corporation authorized to disburse federal funds to noncommercial television and radio stations in support of station operations and educational programming. Section 399 of that Act, as amended by the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981, Pub. L. 97-35, 95 Stat. 730, forbids any "noncommercial educational broadcasting station which receives a grant from the Corporation" to "engage in editorializing." 47 U. S. C. § 399. In this case, we are called upon to decide whether Congress, by imposing that restriction, has passed a "law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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472 U.S. 749 (1985) DUN & BRADSTREET, INC. v. GREENMOSS BUILDERS, INC.   No. 83-18. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued March 21, 1984 Reargued October 3, 1984 Decided June 26, 1985 CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF VERMONT*750 Gordon Lee Garrett, Jr., reargued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were… Read more

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This case requires us once more to "struggl[e] . . . to define the proper accommodation between the law of defamation and the freedoms of speech and press protected by the First Amendment." Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U. S. 323, 325 (1974). In Gertz, the Court held that a private figure who brings a suit for defamation cannot recover without some showing that the media defendant was at fault in publishing the statements at issue. Id., at 347. Here, we hold that, at least where a newspaper publishes speech of public *769 concern, a private-figure plaintiff cannot recover damages without also showing that the statements at issue are false.

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1

In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 279-280, 84 S.Ct. 710, 725-726, 11 L.Ed.2d 686 (1964), we held that, in a libel suit brought by a public official, the First Amendment requires the plaintiff to show that in publishing the defamatory statement the defendant acted with actual malice—"with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." We held further that such actual malice must be shown with "convincing clarity." Id., at 285-286, 84 S.Ct., at 728-729. See also Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 342, 94 S.Ct. 2997, 3008, 41 L.Ed.2d 789 (1974). These New York Times requirements we have since extended to libel suits brought by public figures as well. See, e.g., Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130, 87 S.Ct. 1975, 18 L.Ed.2d 1094 (1967).

2

This case presents the question whether the clear-and-convincing-evidence requirement must be considered by a court ruling on a motion for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in a case to which New York Times applies. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that that requirement need not be considered at the summary judgment stage. 241 U.S.App.D.C. 246, 746 F.2d 1563 (1984). We granted certiorari, 471 U.S. 1134, 105 S.Ct. 2672, 86 L.Ed.2d 691 (1985), because that holding was in conflict with decisions of several other Courts of Appeals, which had held that the New York Times requirement of clear and convincing evidence must be considered on a motion for summary judgment.1 We now reverse.

3

* Respondent Liberty Lobby, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation and self-described "citizens' lobby." Respondent Willis Carto is its founder and treasurer. In October 1981, The Investigator magazine published two articles: "The Private World of Willis Carto" and "Yockey: Profile of an American Hitler." These articles were introduced by a third, shorter article entitled "America's Neo-Nazi Underground: Did Mein Kampf Spawn Yockey's Imperium, a Book Revived by Carto's Liberty Lobby?" These articles portrayed respondents as neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, racist, and Fascist.

4

Respondents filed this diversity libel action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that some 28 statements and 2 illustrations in the 3 articles were false and derogatory. Named as defendants in the action were petitioner Jack Anderson, the publisher of The Investigator, petitioner Bill Adkins, president and chief executive officer of the Investigator Publishing Co., and petitioner Investigator Publishing Co. itself.

5

Following discovery, petitioners moved for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. In their motion, petitioners asserted that because respondents are public figures they were required to prove their case under the standards set forth in New York Times. Petitioners also asserted that summary judgment was proper because actual malice was absent as a matter of law. In support of this latter assertion, petitioners submitted the affidavit of Charles Bermant, an employee of petitioners and the author of the two longer articles.2 In this affidavit, Bermant stated that he had spent a substantial amount of time researching and writing the articles and that his facts were obtained from a wide variety of sources. He also stated that he had at all times believed and still believed that the facts contained in the articles were truthful and accurate. Attached to this affidavit was an appendix in which Bermant detailed the sources for each of the statements alleged by respondents to be libelous.

6

Respondents opposed the motion for summary judgment, asserting that there were numerous inaccuracies in the articles and claiming that an issue of actual malice was presented by virtue of the fact that in preparing the articles Bermant had relied on several sources that respondents asserted were patently unreliable. Generally, respondents charged that petitioners had failed adequately to verify their information before publishing. Respondents also presented evidence that William McGaw, an editor of The Investigator, had told petitioner Adkins before publication that the articles were "terrible" and "ridiculous."

7

In ruling on the motion for summary judgment, the District Court first held that respondents were limited-purpose public figures and that New York Times therefore applied.3 The District Court then held that Bermant's thorough investigation and research and his reliance on numerous sources precluded a finding of actual malice. Thus, the District Court granted the motion and entered judgment in favor of petitioners.

8

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed as to 21 and reversed as to 9 of the allegedly defamatory statements. Although it noted that respondents did not challenge the District Court's ruling that they were limited-purpose public figures and that they were thus required to prove their case under New York Times, the Court of Appeals nevertheless held that for the purposes of summary judgment the requirement that actual malice be proved by clear and convincing evidence, rather than by a preponderance of the evidence, was irrelevant: To defeat summary judgment respondents did not have to show that a jury could find actual malice with "convincing clarity." The court based this conclusion on a perception that to impose the greater evidentiary burden at summary judgment "would change the threshold summary judgment inquiry from a search for a minimum of facts supporting the plaintiff's case to an evaluation of the weight of those facts and (it would seem) of the weight of at least the defendant's uncontroverted facts as well." 241 U.S.App.D.C., at 253, 746 F.2d, at 1570. The court then held, with respect to nine of the statements, that summary judgment had been improperly granted because "a jury could reasonably conclude that the . . . allegations were defamatory, false, and made with actual malice." Id., at 260, 746 F.2d at 1577.

IIA.

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We granted certiorari to decide whether petitioner has a First Amendment right of access to the transcript of a preliminary hearing growing out of a criminal prosecution.

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Hustler magazine parodied Jerry Falwell, a nationally-known minister and public commentator, in a cartoon that imagined Falwell recalling his first sexual experience with his mother in an outhouse. The cartoon included a disclaimer that it was an “ad parody not to be taken seriously.” Falwell received damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress from the trial court and the Fourth Circuit.

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[††]We have before us two decisions of the Indiana courts, involving the application of that State's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and Civil Remedies for Racketeering Activity (CRRA) Acts to cases involving bookstores containing allegedly obscene materials.

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Florida Stat. § 794.03 (1987) makes it unlawful to "print, publish, or broadcast . . . in any instrument of mass communication" the name of the victim of a sexual offense.[1] Pursuant to this statute, appellant The Florida Star was found civilly liable for publishing the name of a rape victim which it had obtained from a publicly released police report. The issue presented here is whether this result comports with the First Amendment. We hold that it does not.

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A public figure may not recover damages for a defamatory falsehood without clear and convincing proof that the false "statement was made with `actual malice' — that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 279-280 (1964). See Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U. S. 130, 162 (1967) (opinion of Warren, C. J.). In Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc., 466 U. S. 485 (1984), we held that judges in such cases have a constitutional duty to "exercise independent judgment and determine whether the record establishes actual malice with convincing clarity." Id., at 514. In this case the Court of Appeals affirmed a libel judgment against a newspaper without attempting to make an independent evaluation of the credibility of conflicting oral testimony concerning the subsidiary facts underlying the jury's finding of actual malice. We granted certiorari to consider whether the Court of Appeals' analysis was consistent with our holding in Bose. 488 U. S. 907 (1988).

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The issue before us is the constitutionality of § 223(b) of the Communications Act of 1934. 47 U. S. C. § 223(b) (1982 ed., Supp. V). The statute, as amended in 1988, imposes an outright ban on indecent as well as obscene interstate commercial telephone messages. The District Court upheld the prohibition against obscene interstate telephone communications for commercial purposes, but enjoined the enforcement of the statute insofar as it applied to indecent messages. We affirm the District Court in both respects.

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In this case we are asked to decide whether a university enjoys a special privilege, grounded in either the common law or the First Amendment, against disclosure of peer review materials that are relevant to charges of racial or sexual discrimination in tenure decisions.

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A Florida statute, with certain limited exceptions, prohibits a grand jury witness from ever disclosing testimony which he gave before that body. We hold that insofar as the Florida law prohibits a grand jury witness from disclosing his own testimony after the term of the grand jury has ended, it violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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While petitioner Milkovich was a high school wrestling coach, his team was involved in an altercation at a match with another high school's team. Both he and School Superintendent Scott testified at an investigatory hearing before the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), which placed the team on probation. They testified again during a suit by several parents, in which a county court overturned OHSAA's ruling. The day after the court's decision, respondent Lorain Journal Company's newspaper published a column authored by respondent Diadiun, which implied that Milkovich lied under oath in the judicial proceeding. Milkovich commenced a defamation action against respondents in the county court, alleging that the column accused him of committing the crime of perjury, damaged him in his occupation of teacher and coach, and constituted libel per se.

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Arkansas' Gross Receipts Act imposed a sales tax on dozens of services, including the provision of cable television. The Act, however, exempted from taxation receipts from newspaper and magazine sales. The cable television industry in Arkansas brought suit challenging the Act, arguing that Arkansas could not constitutionally tax cable television when it was not taxing the print media. The trial court rejected this argument. While the case was on appeal, Arkansas amended the Act to tax all television and radio services. The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the trial court's decision, stating that the First Amendment does not prohibit different taxation of different members of the media. The Arkansas Supreme Court, however, also held that the First Amendment does prohibit differential taxation among member of the same medium and therefore found that the Act was unconstitutional to the extent that it, before the amendment, taxed cable television differently from satellite television services. Differential taxation of speakers and publishers is constitutionally suspect when it threatens to suppress the expression of particular ideas or viewpoints. A tax also is suspect if it targets a small group of speakers. Moreover, a tax triggers heightened scrutiny if it discriminates among speakers based on the content of their speech.Arkansas Writers' Project, Inc. v. Ragland, 481 U.S. 221 (1987); Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Comm'r of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575 (1983); Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233 (1936).

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During 1982 and 1983 writer Janet Malcolm frequently interviewed Jeffrey Masson for an article she was writing about the Sigmund Freud Archives. Mr. Masson had worked as the Projects Director of the Archives until his disenchantment with psychoanalysis led to his termination. Six passages in the article contained quotations from Mr. Masson that Mr. Masson claimed he never made. Ms. Malcolm's 40 hours of taped interviews demonstrated that the quotations either were never made or had been altered in varying degrees. Mr. Masson sued for libel, but the trial court dismissed the suit on the grounds that the altered quotations either were substantially true or rational interpretations of statements that Mr. Masson had made. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on similar grounds, holding that Mr. Masson could not prove that Ms. Malcolm had published the altered quotations knowing that their meaning was false. Under the First Amendment, a public figure cannot prevail in a libel action unless he or she proves that the author knew that the alleged defamatory statement was false or acted with reckless disregard as to the statement's truth. The public figure also must prove that the statement injures his reputation and is not at least substantially true. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974).

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508 U.S. 147 (1993) EL VOCERO de PUERTO RICO et al. v. PUERTO RICO et al.       No. 92-949. United States Supreme Court.    Decided May 17, 1993. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF PUERTO RICO*148 Per Curiam.Under the Puerto Rico Rules of Criminal Procedure, an accused felon… Read more

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Congress in 1992 passed the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, which required, among other things, that cable television systems carry local broadcast stations. Several cable operators filed suit, claiming that the legislation violated the freedoms of speech and of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment. The district court held that the "must-carry" provisions of the Act were constitutional. The extent to which the government can regulate speech often depends upon whether the regulation is content-based or content-neutral. Content based restrictions must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest, while content-neutral regulations need only reasonably advance a substantial state interest. Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence, 468 U.S. 288 (1984).

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Section 10 of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, 47 U.S.C. _ 532, regulates indecent programming on local access cable television channels. Indecent speech is speech that, while not obscene, describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or organs in an offensive manner. Local access channels are those channels set aside by the cable operator for use by persons not affiliated with the operator. The operator is prohibited from exercising any editorial control over these channels. Local access channels usually either are leased or are the "public, educational, or governmental" channels that a local government requires the operator to set aside as partial consideration for the operator's right to install cables under city streets and to otherwise use public right of ways. Section 10(a) of the Act permits cable operators to refuse to carry indecent speech on leased local access channels. Section 10(b) of the Act directs the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules requiring operators who choose to carry indecent programming on local access channels to place the programs on a separate channel and to block the channel until the subscriber, in writing, requests unblocking. Section 10(c) permits cable operators to refuse to carry indecent speech on public, educational, or governmental channels. A combination of groups that produce and watch local access programming challenged the Act and the FCC regulations implementing it on First Amendment grounds. The groups argued that the Act and regulations unconstitutionally censored indecent speech. A panel of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals agreed with this argument and struck down the Act. On rehearing, however, the full court reversed and held that the Act was constitutional because it did not require censorship of indecent speech and because the blocking provisions were the least restrictive means of furthering the government's interest in shielding children from indecent programming. When, as in this case, a governmental restriction of speech is based upon the content of that speech, the restriction can be upheld only if it constitutes the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling governmental interest. Sable Communications of Cal. v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989). In the broadcasting context, the least restrictive means analysis often involves determining whether the broadcasts are available to children, whether the type of broadcasting is pervasively present in society, whether the indecent material can "confront" the audience with little or no warning, and whether adults have other means to receive similar speech. See, e.g., FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978).

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Congress in 1992 passed the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, which required, among other things, that cable television systems carry local broadcast stations. Several cable operators filed suit, claiming that the legislation violated the freedoms of speech and of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment. In 1993, the district court held that the "must-carry" provisions of the Act were constitutional. On direct appeal, the Supreme Court, in Turner Broadcasting System v. Federal Communications Comm., 114 S. Ct. 2445 (1994), held that the "must-carry" provisions constituted a content-neutral regulation and could be constitutional. The Court then ordered the district court to determine whether the government could demonstrate that the provisions reasonably advanced an important governmental interest. On remand, a divided district court held that Congress had before it "substantial evidence" from which to conclude that the must-carry provisions were necessary to protect the local broadcast industry. When examining content-neutral regulations, courts apply an "intermediate" level of scrutiny. Under this analysis, legislation that affects speech but that does not favor the message of one speaker over another can be constitutional if the legislation (1) furthers an important governmental interest and (2) does not burden more speech than necessary to advance that interest. United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).

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The Communications Decency Act of 1996 ("CDA"), 47 U.S.C. § 223, prohibits the transmission of indecent and patently offensive materials to minors over the Internet. A number of civil rights and computer groups challenged the constitutionality of these provisions on First Amendment grounds. In essence, these groups argued that the inability of Internet users and providers to verify the age of information recipients effectively prevented them from engaging in indecent speech, which traditionally has received significant First Amendment protection. After a lengthy evidentiary hearing that included many online demonstrations, a special three-judge district court (which was created by the CDA to hear the expected constitutional challenges) agreed with the groups and ruled that the provisions violated the First Amendment. Indecent speech, unlike obscenity, is entitled to constitutional protection because it often has substantial social value and lacks prurient interest. Sable Communications v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989). This speech therefore cannot be regulated unless the restrictions are justified by a compelling governmental interest and are narrowly tailored to advance that interest. Turner Broadcasting System v. FCC, 114 S. Ct. 2445 (1994). The Court already has held that the government has a compelling interest in protecting minors from indecent speech. Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). The Court also has held that the government may prohibit dissemination of indecent materials to minors as long it does not at the same time prohibit dissemination to adults. FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978).

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Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires cable television operators to "fully scramble or otherwise fully block the video and audio portion" of channels that provide primarily "sexually explicit adult programming." The act provides that cable operators can comply with _ 505 by showing the "indecent" or "sexually explicit adult programming" only during so-called safe-harbor hours, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., when children are not likely to view the programming. In 1996, Playboy Entertainment Group filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware seeking to prohibit the enforcement of Section 505. After the three-judge panel denied Playboy's motion for a preliminary injunction, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 refused to review the denial of the preliminary injunction. On Dec. 28, 1998, the district court ruled that _ 505 violated the First Amendment. The court ruled the law was content-based because it restricted only sexually explicit adult programming. The government appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Indecent speech, unlike obscene speech, is entitled to First Amendment protection. Government officials cannot suppress the free-speech rights of adults in order to protect minors from objectionable material unless the law is very narrowly drafted. Content-based laws are presumptively unconstitutional and the government bears the burden of showing that the law advances a compelling state interest in the least restrictive way.

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The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 prohibited “any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture” that “is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” This includes visuals that seem to depict children but are virtually constructed or use adult actors. The statute was successfully challenged for being overbroad and vague by The Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult entertainment industry.

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539 U.S. 194 (2003) UNITED STATES et al. v. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, INC., et al.           No. 02-361. Supreme Court of United States.    Argued March 5, 2003. Decided June 23, 2003. APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA*195 *196 *197 REHNQUIST, C. J., announced… Read more

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Johnnie Cochran brought a state-law defamation action against petitioner Ulysses Tory. The state trial court determined that Tory (with the help of petitioner Ruth Craft and others) had engaged in unlawful defamatory activity. It found, for example, that Tory, while claiming falsely that Cochran owed him money, had complained to the local bar association, had written Cochran threatening letters demanding $10 million, had picketed Cochran's office holding up signs containing various insults and obscenities; and, with a group of associates, had pursued Cochran while chanting similar threats and insults. App. 38, 40-41. The court concluded that Tory's claim that Cochran owed him money was without foundation, that Tory engaged in a continuous pattern of libelous and slanderous activity, and that Tory had *736 used false and defamatory speech to "coerce" Cochran into paying "amounts of money to which Tory was not entitled" as a "tribute" or a "premium" for "desisting" from this libelous and slanderous activity. Id., at 39, 42-43.

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In 2004, a special agent entered an internet chat room to combat online child exploitation. The agent, under an alias, engaged in a private chat with Michael Williams and exchanged photos with him. Williams shared a hyperlink with the agent that contained several images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Williams was arrested and charged with violations of the PROTECT Act, including the pandering of “material or purported material in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe” that the material is illegal child pornography. Williams filed a motion to dismiss the charges as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. The Eleventh Circuit agreed with Williams and struck down the pandering portion of the PROTECT Act as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague.

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