War & Press Freedom: The Problem of Prerogative Power

Synopsis

In the two centuries from the ratification of the First Amendment in 1791 through the Gulf War in 1991, the American press lacked an adequate right to analyze and report on the nation's armed conflicts. When restrictions were challenged as violations of the Constitution, military regulations and federal laws were justified as necessary under the "higher law" of survival Is there law more important than the Constitution which allows prerogative powers to be used in a time of war or national crisis? This groundbreaking and provocative study, examining law and history over these two hundred years, argues that press freedom cannot and should not be suspended during armed conflict.