Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eugene Volokh Article on Freedom of the Press As An Industry, or For the Press as a Technology? From The Framing to Today.

"“[T]he freedom . . . of the press” specially protects the press as an industry, which is to say newspapers, television stations, and the like - so have argued some judges and scholars, such as the Citizens United v. FEC dissenters and Justices Stewart, Powell, and Douglas.

This argument is made in many contexts: election-related speech, libel law, the journalist’s privilege, access to government property, and more.

Some lower courts have indeed concluded that some First Amendment constitutional protections apply only to the institutional press, and not to book authors, political advertisers, writers of letters to the editor, professors who post material on their websites, or people who
are interviewed by newspaper reporters.

Sometimes, this argument is used to support weaker protection for non-institutional-press speakers than is already given to institutional-press speakers. At other times, it is used to support greater protection for institutional-press speakers than they already get. The argument in the latter set of cases is that the greater protection can be limited to institutionalpress speakers, and so will undermine rival government interests less than if the greater protection were extended to all speakers."


"Of course, the Supreme Court has never limited itself to analyzing constitutional provisions based solely on historical sources. Justices remain free to decide for themselves what they think best serves the values they deem protected by constitutional provisions.

The goal of this Article is simply to say that an argument for a press-as-industry interpretation of the Free Press Clause must rely on something other than original meaning, text, purpose, tradition, or precedent."

Source of Quote and Full Eugene Volokh Article on Freedom of the Press

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