AND FREEDOM OF THE PRESS by James C. The government then took us to court, and convinced a judge to issue a temporary restraining order which prohibited the Times from continuing to publish the series. Following a. this time in the seminal libel case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
New York Times v. United States, better known as the “Pentagon Papers” case, was a decision expanding freedom of the press and limits on the government's power to interrupt that freedom. President Richard Nixon used his executive authority to prevent the New York Times from publishing top secret documents pertaining to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 269—270, 84 S.Ct. 710, 720—721, 11 L.Ed.2d 686. 38 I would affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals in the Post case, vacate the stay of the Court of Appeals in the Times case and direct that it affirm the District Court.
In New York Times v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that journalists cannot be prosecuted for publishing material about public officials unless actual malice can be proven. The case was inspired by segregationist Alabama governor John Patterson, who felt that the New York Times had portrayed his attacks on Martin Luther King Jr. in an unflattering light.
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The New York Times' petition for certiorari, its motion for accelerated consideration thereof, and its application for interim relief were filed in this Court on June 24 at about 11 a. m. The application of the United States for interim relief in the Post case was also filed here on June 24 at about 7:15 p. m.
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Until the New York Times Co. v. Sullivan ruling in 1964, journalists who cast a critical light on the activities of the nation’s most powerful individuals did so at their peril.