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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

what was the 1971 court case "New York Times vs. United States" about?

Just a summary of what happen, the outcome..would be great.

I researched about it.. but this link "" was just way too confusing.

help please?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a United States Supreme Court per curiam decision. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censure.

    President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press under the First Amendment was subordinate to a claimed Executive need to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that First Amendment did protect the New York Times' right to print said materials

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Pentagon Papers revealed that during the Vietnam War, the government had been secretly bombing Laos and Cambodia and otherwise misleading the public. A whistleblower within the Pentagon named Daniel Ellsberg was concerned about this, and leaked the details to the New York Times. After the New York Times made sure that the information (mostly historical) would pose no threat to the United States, it published the Pentagon Papers, since this was important public information, publication of which was legal under the First Amendment.

    President Richard Nixon sought and obtained an injunction blocking further publication in court based on a strong deference to the executive branch's decisions concerning national security interests.

    The NYT appealed, and the Supreme Court found that the Executive's interest in protecting national security was overcome by the 1st A's ban on prior restraints (basically, censorship). Since the information was of no real potential harm (to anyone but the administration) and because it was exactly the kind of material the 1st A was designed to protect (a crucial matter of public debate), the injunction was overturned.

    The court issued like nine different opinions, so you're right--it is a very difficult case. It was almost impossible to determine what the holding of the case was (basically, what is law per the Supreme Court is the narrowest holding supported by the most justices, and when so many have different opinions, it is difficult to ascertain just what opinion becomes law). But what is definite is that it was a great victory for press freedom, and the publication of the Pentagon Papers was a turning point against the Vietnam War and Nixon.

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  • blay
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It have been given to the desirable courtroom because of the fact the cases appealed the determination of the U. S. courtroom of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, and the desirable courtroom usual the attraction. could you desire to renowned what became into at situation? study the desirable courtroom's opinion and the Wikipedia article.

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