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Presuming Trustworthiness, Ronnell Anderson Jones, Sonja R. West Jan 2023

Presuming Trustworthiness, Ronnell Anderson Jones, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

A half-century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court often praised speakers performing the press function. While the Justices acknowledged that press reports are sometimes inaccurate and that media motivations are at times less than public-serving, their laudatory statements nonetheless embraced a baseline presumption of the value and trustworthiness of press speech in general. Speech in the exercise of the press function, they told us, is vitally important to public discourse in a democracy and therefore worthy of protection even when it falls short of the ideal in a given instance. Those days are over. Our study of every reference to the …


The Public Benefits Of Press Specialness, Ronnell Andersen Jones Mar 2022

The Public Benefits Of Press Specialness, Ronnell Andersen Jones

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

In many circumstances, a broad umbrella of shared rights for the press and the public is perfectly adequate. But there are also times when statutorily, and even constitutionally, we should be providing unique protection to those who, if granted rights beyond those available to all speakers, will use those rights to benefit society as a whole. In these areas, our ongoing refusal to conceptualize and legally recognize the specialness of the press function has robbed us of public benefits.

The Freedom of Information Act context is a perfect illustration of this. Federal agencies are so swamped by requesters with non-newsworthy, …


The Disappearing Freedom Of The Press, Ronnell Andersen Jones Feb 2022

The Disappearing Freedom Of The Press, Ronnell Andersen Jones

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

At this moment of unprecedented decline of local news and amplified attacks on the American press, attention is turning to the protection the Constitution might provide to journalism and the journalistic function. New signals that at least some Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court might be willing to rethink the core press-protecting precedent in New York Times v. Sullivan has intensified these conversations. But this scholarly dialogue appears to be taking place against a mistaken foundational assumption: that the U.S. Supreme Court continues to articulate and embrace at least some notion of freedom of the press. Despite the First Amendment …


The Disappearing Freedom Of The Press, Sonja R. West, Ronnell Anderson Jones Jan 2022

The Disappearing Freedom Of The Press, Sonja R. West, Ronnell Anderson Jones

Scholarly Works

At this moment of unprecedented decline of local news and amplified attacks on the American press, attention is turning to the protection the Constitution might provide to journalism and the journalistic function. New signals that at least some Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court might be willing to rethink the core press-protecting precedent in New York Times v. Sullivan has intensified these conversations. But this scholarly dialogue appears to be taking place against a mistaken foundational assumption: that the U.S. Supreme Court continues to articulate and embrace at least some notion of freedom of the press. Despite the First Amendment …


How The Supreme Court Talks About The Press (And Why We Should Care), Helen Norton Jan 2021

How The Supreme Court Talks About The Press (And Why We Should Care), Helen Norton

Publications

No abstract provided.


Protecting Local News Outlets From Fatal Legal Expenses, Nicole J. Ligon Jan 2020

Protecting Local News Outlets From Fatal Legal Expenses, Nicole J. Ligon

Faculty Scholarship

As lawsuits targeting the press continue to rise in response to today’s political climate, local news outlets are more likely to find themselves facing unexpected legal expenses. Although the national news media can generally weather the costs of libel lawsuits and subpoena requests, smaller news outlets have gone bankrupt or barely escaped such a fate while paying off legal fees, even when these outlets have ultimately been successful in their legal battles. Because local news outlets serve a critical role in underserved communities and are powerful agents of positive social change, they ought to be protected against fatal legal expenses. …


The Invention Of First Amendment Federalism, Jud Campbell Jan 2019

The Invention Of First Amendment Federalism, Jud Campbell

Law Faculty Publications

When insisting that the Sedition Act of 1798 violated the First Amendment, Jeffersonian Republicans cast their argument in historical terms, claiming that the Speech and Press Clauses eliminated any federal power to restrict expression. Scholars, in turn, have generally accepted that Republicans had a consistent understanding of the First Amendment throughout the 1790s. But Founding Era constitutionalism was dynamic in practice, even while often conservative in rhetoric, and scholars have missed the striking novelty of the principal argument against the Sedition Act. Republicans had taken a rights provision and transformed it into a federalism rule.

Mostly ignored in the literature, …


Compelled Subsidies And Original Meaning, Jud Campbell Jan 2019

Compelled Subsidies And Original Meaning, Jud Campbell

Law Faculty Publications

The rule against compelled subsidization of speech is at the forefront of modem First Amendment disputes. Challenges to mandatory union dues, laws preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the federal "contraceptive mandate" have all featured variants of the anti-subsidization principle, reasoning that the government cannot compel people to support the objectionable activities of others. But the literature currently fails to evaluate modem compelled-subsidy doctrine in terms of the original meaning of the First Amendment. This Essay takes up that task.

Approaching any question of original meaning requires a willingness to encounter a constitutional world that looks very …


Favoring The Press, Sonja R. West Jan 2018

Favoring The Press, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

In the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the United States Supreme Court caught the nation’s attention by declaring that corporations have a First Amendment right to independently spend unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns. The Court rested its 5-4 decision in large part on a concept of speaker-based discrimination. In the Court’s words, “the Government may commit a constitutional wrong when by law it identifies certain preferred speakers.”

To drive home its point that speaker-based distinctions are inherently problematic, the Court focused on one type of speaker distinction — the treatment of news media corporations. …


Don’T Expect The First Amendment To Protect The Media, Ronnell Anderson Jones, Sonja R. West Jan 2017

Don’T Expect The First Amendment To Protect The Media, Ronnell Anderson Jones, Sonja R. West

Popular Media

Op-ed in the New York Times about the limits on the protection of the press under the First Amendment.


Natural Rights And The First Amendment, Jud Campbell Jan 2017

Natural Rights And The First Amendment, Jud Campbell

Law Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court often claims that the First Amendment reflects an original judgment about the proper scope of expressive freedom. After a century of academic debate, however, the meanings of speech and press freedoms at the Founding remain remarkably hazy. Many scholars, often pointing to Founding Era sedition prosecutions, emphasize the limited scope of these rights. Others focus on the libertarian ideas that helped shape opposition to the Sedition Act of 1798. Still more claim that speech and press freedoms lacked any commonly accepted meaning. The relationship between speech and press freedoms is contested, too. Most scholars view these freedoms …


Bankrupt Marketplace: First Amendment Theory And The 2016 Presidential Election, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2017

Bankrupt Marketplace: First Amendment Theory And The 2016 Presidential Election, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

In this article I advance two arguments. The first is that 2016 was a particularly important year for freedom of speech and the press, although not for conventional reasons. The second is that hte events of 2016 revealed that one of the essential components of our democracy - the central role that free expression plays in the democratic process - is in a state of serious dysfunction, if not crisis.


When Privacy Almost Won: Time, Inc. V. Hill (1967), Samantha Barbas Dec 2015

When Privacy Almost Won: Time, Inc. V. Hill (1967), Samantha Barbas

Journal Articles

Drawing on previously unexplored and unpublished archival papers of Richard Nixon, the plaintiffs’ lawyer in the case, and the justices of the Warren Court, this article tells the story of the seminal First Amendment case Time, Inc. v. Hill (1967). In Hill, the Supreme Court for the first time addressed the conflict between the right to privacy and freedom of the press. The Court constitutionalized tort liability for invasion of privacy, acknowledging that it raised First Amendment issues and must be governed by constitutional standards. Hill substantially diminished privacy rights; today it is difficult if not impossible to recover against …


Amicus Brief In Support Of Motion For Reconsideration, In The Case Of Murray V. Chagrin Valley Publishing Co., Case No. 2015-0127, Supreme Court Of Ohio, David Forte Jul 2015

Amicus Brief In Support Of Motion For Reconsideration, In The Case Of Murray V. Chagrin Valley Publishing Co., Case No. 2015-0127, Supreme Court Of Ohio, David Forte

Law Faculty Briefs and Court Documents

Forte authored an Amicus brief in support of motion for reconsideration, in the case of Murray v. Chagrin Valley Publishing Co., Case no. 2015-0127, Supreme Court of Ohio, on issues dealing with free speech and libel. The brief was filed on July 20, 2015. In the brief, Forte writes, 'I have chosen to participate as an amicus curiae in support of the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Appellants Robert E. Murray, Murray Energy Corporation, American Energy Corporation, and The Ohio Valley Coal Company because as a career constitutional scholar, I believe that Appellants’ case presents questions of keen interest to …


Ethics For Media Lawyers: The Lessons Of Ferguson, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2015

Ethics For Media Lawyers: The Lessons Of Ferguson, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

Ferguson, Missouri, has a population of roughly 21,000 people. Thirty cities in Missouri have larger populations. The Edward Jones Dome, where the St. Louis Rams play football, seats three times as many people. Most of us had never heard of Ferguson prior to August 9, 2014, when a police oficer named Darren Wilson shot and killed an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown. But, to paraphrase the grim observation of Ambrose Bierce, war is how Americans learn geography. So, as violence and vandalism erupted on its streets, the nation turned its attention toward Ferguson and labored to understand the place, …


A "Faustian Pact"? Native Advertising And The Future Of The Press, Lili Levi Jan 2015

A "Faustian Pact"? Native Advertising And The Future Of The Press, Lili Levi

Articles

As technology undermines the economic model supporting the traditional press, news organizations are succumbing to the siren call of "native advertising" – a new marketing technique for unobtrusively integrating paid advertising into editorial content. Brands are increasingly turning to native ads to preempt consumers' well-documented ad avoidance. Although the native advertising model debuted on digital-native news sites, it is now ubiquitous in elite legacy media as well. Everyone knew "native" had arrived for good when the venerable New York Times not only introduced its online "Paid Post," but incorporated sponsored content in its print editions, and even hired an in-house …


Press Exceptionalism, Sonja R. West Jun 2014

Press Exceptionalism, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

Thanks to advances in mass communication technology, it is now easier and cheaper for all of us to share information with each other. This new ability allows us to act in ways that often seem “press-like.” We might, for example, tweet a warning to our friends about a traffic jam or blog about an upcoming election. Armed with nothing more than a smart phone or a laptop, each of us can share information about matters of public interest to a potentially broad audience in a timely manner — thus engaging in the very activities that were once considered the exclusive …


The Stealth Press Clause, Sonja R. West Jan 2014

The Stealth Press Clause, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

In this piece, however, I pause to push back on the conventional wisdom that the Court actually has refused to view the press as constitutionally special. Contrary to what we have been told, I contend the Supreme Court has indeed recognized the press as constitutionally unique from nonpress speakers. The justices have done so implicitly and often in dicta, but nonetheless they have continually and repeatedly treated the press differently. While rarely acknowledged explicitly, this "Stealth Press Clause" has been hard at work carving out special protections for the press,guiding the Court's analysis and offering valuable insights into how we …


First Amendment Neighbors, Sonja R. West Jan 2014

First Amendment Neighbors, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

An abdication of the Press Clause reflects the most basic of analytical errors: It treats the text of the Press Clause as redundant and ignores the specialized functions that the Framers meant for the Press Clause to play. Failing to give the Press Clause constitutional recognition by declaring it too difficult to interpret or by dismissing it as "mere surplusage" is utterly at odds with our constitutional traditions. The Religion Clauses provide an example on how to give the text of the Press Clause true meaning.

In interpreting the Religion Clauses, the Supreme Court has taken a different attitude than …


Implementing First Amendment Institutionalism, Joseph Blocher Jan 2013

Implementing First Amendment Institutionalism, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Three Puzzling Things About New York Times V. Sullivan: Beginning The Anniversary Conversation, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2013

Three Puzzling Things About New York Times V. Sullivan: Beginning The Anniversary Conversation, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

This is the 50th anniversary of a watershed year in the history of the civil rights movement. During that year, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference mounted its anti-segregation campaign in Alabama; Commissioner "Bull" Connor turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators; activists were attacked; riots flared; George Wallace blocked the doors of a public university to keep black students out; President Kennedy dispatched troops to Alabama and called for the passage of a civil rights bill; Medgar Evers was murdered; the then-largest human rights demonstration in U.S. history converged on Washington; Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic speech at …


Saving The Press Clause From Ruin: The Customary Origins Of A 'Free Press' As Interface To The Present And Future, Kevin F. O'Neill, Patrick J. Charles Jan 2012

Saving The Press Clause From Ruin: The Customary Origins Of A 'Free Press' As Interface To The Present And Future, Kevin F. O'Neill, Patrick J. Charles

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

Based on a close reading of original sources dating back to America's early colonial period, this article offers a fresh look at the origins of the Press Clause. Then, applying those historical findings, the article critiques recent scholarship in the field and reassesses the Press Clause jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. Finally, the article describes the likely impact of its historical findings if ever employed by the Court in interpreting the Press Clause.


The Monster In The Courtroom, Sonja R. West Jan 2012

The Monster In The Courtroom, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

It is well known that Supreme Court Justices are not fans of cameras — specifically, video cameras. Despite continued pressure from the press, Congress, and the public to allow cameras into oral arguments, the Justices have steadfastly refused.

The policy arguments for allowing cameras in the courtroom focus on cameras as a means to increased transparency of judicial work. Yet these arguments tend to gloss over a significant point about the Court — it is not secretive. The Court allows several avenues of access to its oral arguments including the presence of the public and the press in the audience, …


Incendiary Speech And Social Media, Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky Jan 2012

Incendiary Speech And Social Media, Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky

UF Law Faculty Publications

Incidents illustrating the incendiary capacity of social media have rekindled concerns about the "mismatch" between existing doctrinal categories and new types of dangerous speech. This Essay examines two such incidents, one in which an offensive tweet and YouTube video led a hostile audience to riot and murder, and the other in which a blogger urged his nameless, faceless audience to murder federal judges. One incident resulted in liability for the speaker, even though no violence occurred; the other did not lead to liability for the speaker even though at least thirty people died as a result of his words. An …


Incendiary Speech And Social Media, Lyrissa Lidsky Jan 2011

Incendiary Speech And Social Media, Lyrissa Lidsky

Faculty Publications

Incidents illustrating the incendiary capacity of social media have rekindled concerns about the "mismatch" between existing doctrinal categories and new types of dangerous speech. This Essay examines two such incidents, one in which an offensive tweet and YouTube video led a hostile audience to riot and murder, and the other in which a blogger urged his nameless, faceless audience to murder federal judges. One incident resulted in liability for the speaker even though no violence occurred; the other did not lead to liability for the speaker even though at least thirty people died as a result of his words. An …


The Death Of The Public Disclosure Tort: A Historical Perspective, Samantha Barbas Jan 2010

The Death Of The Public Disclosure Tort: A Historical Perspective, Samantha Barbas

Journal Articles

In 1890, Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, in their famous Harvard Law Review article The Right to Privacy, called for a new legal right that would allow the victims of truthful but embarrassing press publicity to recover damages for emotional harm. Currently, in most states, it constitutes a tort if the disclosure of “matter concerning the private life of another” would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and the matter is not “of legitimate concern to the public,” or newsworthy. However, because courts generally consider virtually everything that appears in the news media to be newsworthy, the public disclosure …


A House Divided: Earl Caldwell, The New York Times, And The Quest For A Testimonial Privilege, Eric Easton Jan 2009

A House Divided: Earl Caldwell, The New York Times, And The Quest For A Testimonial Privilege, Eric Easton

All Faculty Scholarship

In the 1972 case of Branzburg v. Hayes, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not protect journalists who refuse to reveal their confidential sources or news gathering product in response to a federal grand jury subpoena. That decision has remained vital for 35 years and has reverberated through a number of recent high-profile cases. Despite some form of protection in nearly every state court, reporters haled before a federal judge may have no recourse save prison. Devastating as Branzburg has been for the so-called journalist's privilege, its negative impact has been far broader. Branzburg is one of …


Betraying Truth: Ethics Abuse In Middle East Reporting, Kenneth Lasson Jan 2009

Betraying Truth: Ethics Abuse In Middle East Reporting, Kenneth Lasson

All Faculty Scholarship

This article presents a brief overview of press freedom under the First Amendment, attempts to create a working definition of media “objectivity,” examines various codes of professional ethics for journalists, and analyzes specific cases in which such standards have allegedly been abused or abandoned in Middle East reporting.


The Colonel's Finest Campaign: Robert R. Mccormick And Near V. Minnesota, Eric Easton Mar 2008

The Colonel's Finest Campaign: Robert R. Mccormick And Near V. Minnesota, Eric Easton

All Faculty Scholarship

Today, media corporations and their professional and trade associations, along with organizations like Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the American Civil Liberties Union, carefully monitor litigation that implicates First Amendment values and decide whether, when, and how to intervene. It was not always so. Litigation by an institutional press to avoid or create doctrinal precedent under the First Amendment really began with the appointment of Col. Robert R. McCormick to head the ANPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press in the spring of 1928 and his involvement in Near v. Minnesota beginning that fall. Because of McCormick's …


In Search Of Regulatory Equilibrium, Lili Levi Jan 2007

In Search Of Regulatory Equilibrium, Lili Levi

Articles

No abstract provided.