The Supreme Court on Freedom of the Press: Decisions and Dissents

By William A. Hachten | Go to book overview

Chapter Eleven
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN GENERAL

MANY IMPORTANT First Amendment decisions of the Supreme Court are not directly concerned with journalism or mass communications. However, a substantial number involves the broad principles of freedom of expression to a greater or lesser extent. Communication can take many forms. For that reason the views expressed by the Supreme Court in seemingly unrelated cases often have considerable relevance to the mass media.

The decisions in this chapter deal with various facets of human expression. The cases included here are concise and the excerpts emphasize those passages pertinent to press freedom. Those wishing a fuller treatment of each case are urged to consult the collections of reported opinions: United States Reports, Supreme Court Reporter, or the excellent casebook, First Amendment Freedoms.1

When reading this material, it is important to remember that freedom of speech and freedom of the press, as legal concepts, are virtually identical and synonymous.


PICKETING AS FREE EXPRESSION

The changing conditions of urban industrialized society bring new challenges to the First Amendment. In the context of management/labor disputes, for instance, the Supreme Court has said: "Peaceful picketing is the workingman's means of communication."

____________________
1
Milton R. Konvitz ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1963).

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