The Fourth Estate and the Constitution: Freedom of the Press in America

Front Cover
University of California Press, Oct 2, 1992 - History - 357 pages
In 1964 the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan guaranteeing constitutional protection for caustic criticism of public officials, thus forging the modern law of freedom of the press. Since then, the Court has decided case after case affecting the rights and restrictions of the press, yet little has ben written about these developments as they pertain to the Fourth Estate. Lucas Powe's essential book now fills this gap. Lucas A. Powe, Jr., a legal scholar specializing in media and the law, goes back to the framing of the First Amendment and chronicles the two main traditions of interpreting freedom of the press to illuminate the issues that today ignite controversy: 
  • How can a balance be achieved among reputation, uninhibited discussion, and media power?
  • Under what circumstance can the government seek to protect national security by enjoining the press rather than attempting the difficult task of convincing a jury that publication was a criminal offense?
  • What rights can the press properly claim to protect confidential sources or to demand access to information otherwise barred to the public?
  • And, as the media grow larger and larger, can the government attempt to limit their power by limiting their size?
Writing for the concerned layperson and student of both journalism and jurisprudence, Powe synthesizes law, history, and theory to explain and justify full protection of the editorial choices of the press. The Fourth Estate and the Constitution not only captures the sweep of history of Supreme Court decisions on the press, but also provides a timely restatement of the traditional view of freedom of the press at a time when liberty is increasingly called into question.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

The fourth estate and the Constitution: freedom of the press in America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Similar in style and intent to Powe's American Broadcasting and the First Amendment ( LJ 7/87), this first-rate study explores the constitutional dynamics of American press freedom. Initial chapters ... Read full review

Contents

Overview
19
Freedom of the Press in Times of Crisis
51
Freedom of the Press from Times to Times
79
ix
110
Prior Restraints
140
Access to Sources and Information
170
Antitrust
200
Overview
233
The Fourth Estate
260
Conclusion
289
Notes
299
Index
345
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1992)

Lucas A. Powe, Jr., holds the Anne Green Regents Chair at The University of Texas, where he teaches at the School of Law and the Department of Government.

Bibliographic information