By Elliot C. Rothenberg
Cohen v. Cowles Media Company changed the course of First Amendment media law. After a quarter century of decisions interpreting the First Amendment to give media organizations preferential treatment, the Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that the Constitution did not give the press immunity from the laws ordinary citizens must obey. The American Bar Association quarterly Communications Lawyer (Spring 1998) calls Cohen a "media law hall of fame case." The author, who was the plaintiff's sole attorney in all phases of the case, provides detailed analysis of the complexities of constitutional litigation and the strategic and tactical considerations involved in formulating constitutional arguments in the Supreme Court and other courts.
- Westport, CT