chapter  5
27 Pages

Re-Examining the Press Clause

ByJared Schroeder

This chapter examines the historical foundations of press protections and explores the persistent question of press-clause founded journalistic privileges. The influence of the Blackstonian conceptualization of the press clause persisted into the Court's term in 1931, when the justices, including Holmes, who was in his last years on the Court, struck down a Minnesota law against nuisance publishing. The general precedential and historical agreement that the press clause, in the least, halts governmental prior restraints on the press does not completely resolve the question of the meaning and scope of press protections. Notable legal scholars have come to conclusions that are similar to Justice Stewart's, particularly in the sense that they saw the press clause as relating to the traditional news media. Pierre Levy and David A. Anderson disagreed about the intended meaning of the press clause in a dialogue, via books and journal articles, in the 1980s.