New York Times Co. v. United States

In New York Times v. United States, the Supreme Court allows continued publication of the Pentagon Papers. The Court holds that the central purpose of the First Amendment is to “prohibit the widespread practice of governmental suppression of embarrassing information.” This case establishes that the press has almost absolute immunity from pre-publication restraints.

It should be noted though that four Justices acknowledged that it may be possible to criminally charge journalists under the Espionage Act for publishing or gathering defense secrets.