THE LEGAL OPINIONS on freedom of the press by the Supreme Court of the United States are marked by both continuity and change. The great principles of free expression enunciated by Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis in the 1920's were restated and reformulated by members of the Warren Court in the 1960's. The consistent concern for the positive values of free expression found eloquent articulation in the views of justices Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Stone, Frank Murphy, Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Earl Warren, and others quoted in this book. Any new decision on freedom of the press that the Supreme Court hands down today--or tomorrow--must take cognizance of what these modern giants of the law have written. Their words reverberate through the law books.
Yet the decisions included in this book are clearly characterized by change. The direction of that change is unmistakable: at the level of constitutional law, for all mass media-- newspapers, books, magazines, broadcasting, motion pictures-- and for all citizens, there is greater freedom of the press today than at any time in the history of the Republic. The almost seventy decisions included here have given specific legal meaning to the concept of press freedom.
This expanded delineation of freedom of the press is, of course, just one aspect of the modern Supreme Court's concerted efforts in the past thirty years to give legal realization to all the rights named by the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
Committed to making the Bill of Rights meaningful, the