COMM 351 cases

  1. Brandenburg v Ohio
    dealt with the KKK leader on television saying hate speech towards blacks and jews. This ended up being okay as he exercised his right in the 1st ammendment.
  2. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.
    • The court granted certiori to reconsider the extent on a publishers constitutional privilege against liability for defamation of a private citizen. was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States established the standard of First Amendment protection against defamation claims brought by private individuals. The Court held that, so long as they do not impose liability without fault, states
    • are free to establish their own standards of liability for defamatory
    • statements made about private individuals. However, the Court also
    • ruled that if the state standard is lower than actual malice, the standard applying to public figures, then only actual damages may be awarded.
  3. Gitlow v. United States
    was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had extended the reach of certain provisions of the First Amendment—specifically the provisions protecting freedom of speech and freedom of the press—to the governments of the individual states.
  4. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
    • was a United States Supreme Court decision which held that public school curricular student newspapers that have not been established as forums for student expression are subject to a lower level of First Amendment
    • protection than independent student expression or newspapers
    • established (by policy or practice) as forums for student expression.
  5. Marbury v. Madison
    • is a landmark case in United States law. It formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution.
    • This case resulted from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed by President John Adams as Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the documents, but the court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, denied Marbury's petition, holding that the part of the statute upon which he based his claim, the Judiciary Act of 1789, was unconstitutional.
    • Marbury v. Madison was the first time the Supreme Court declared something "unconstitutional", and established the concept of judicial review in the U.S. (the idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government). The landmark decision helped define the "checks and balances" of the American form of government.
  6. Near v. Minnesota
    • (1931), was a United States Supreme Court decision that recognized the freedom of the press by roundly rejecting prior restraints on publication, a principle that was applied to free speech generally in subsequent jurisprudence. The Court ruled that a Minnesota law that targeted publishers of "malicious" or "scandalous" newspapers violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (as applied through the Fourteenth Amendment). Legal scholar and columnist Anthony Lewis called Near the Court's "first great press case."[1]
    • It was later a key precedent in New York Times Co. v. United States (1971), in which the Court ruled against the Nixon administration's attempt to enjoin publication of the Pentagon Papers.
  7. New York Times v. Sullivan
    • (1964),[1] was a United States Supreme Court case which established the actual malice standard which has to be met before press reports about public officials or public figures can be considered to be defamation and libel; and hence allowed free reporting of the civil rights campaigns in the southern United States. It is one of the key decisions supporting the freedom of the press.
    • The actual malice standard requires that the plaintiff in a defamation
    • or libel case prove that the publisher of the statement in question
    • knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its
    • truth or falsity. Because of the extremely high burden of proof on the
    • plaintiff, and the difficulty in proving essentially what is inside a
    • person's head, such cases—when they involve public figures—rarely prevail.
  8. New York Times v. United States
    (1971), was a United States Supreme Court per curiam decision. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censure.
  9. Ollman v. Evans and Novak
    1978: This defamation action arises out of the publication of a syndicated column by Rowland Evans and Robert Novak. The question here was if the the statements were expressions of opinion or assertions of facts that were defamatory. This case questioned 1st ammendment rights.
  10. Pennekamp v. Florida
    • Freedom of expression.
    • Miami Herald
    • printed two editorials that were critical of the administration of
    • cases pending before a trial court in Dade County, Florida. The trial
    • court issued a contempt citation for the editorials and the Supreme
    • Court of Florida affirmed.
    • On certiorari the US Supreme Court reversed
  11. Prune Yard Shopping Center v. Robins
    • A. Issues Discussed: Free speech, Taking Clause
    • B. Legal Question Presented: Do state
    • constitutional provisions, which permit individuals to exercise free
    • speech and petition rights on the property of a privately owned
    • shopping center to which the public is invited, violate the shopping
    • center owner's property rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth
    • Amendments or his free speech rights under the First and Fourteenth
    • Amendments?
  12. Schenck v. United States
    • (1919), was a United States Supreme Court decision that upheld the Espionage Act of 1917 and concluded that a defendant did not have a First Amendment right to free speech against the draft during World War I. Charles Schenck
    • was the Secretary of the Socialist party and was responsible for
    • printing, distributing, and mailing 15,000 leaflets to men eligible for
    • the draft that advocated opposition to the draft. These leaflets
    • contained statements such as; "Do not submit to intimidation", "Assert
    • your rights", "If you do not assert and support your rights, you are
    • helping to deny or disparage rights which it is the solemn duty of all
    • citizens and residents of the United States to retain." Ultimately, the
    • case served as the founding of the "clear and present danger" rule.
  13. Texas v. Johnson
    (1989), was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that the defendant's act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Johnson was represented by attorneys David D. Cole and William Kunstler.
  14. Tinker v. Des Moines Independant School District
    (1969) was a decision by the United States Supreme Court that defined the constitutional rights of students in U.S. public schools. The Tinker test is still used by courts today to determine whether a school's disciplinary actions violate students' First Amendment rights.
  15. United States v. O`brian
    • (1968), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled that a criminal prohibition against burning a draft card did not violate the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. Though the Court recognized that O'Brien's conduct was expressive as a protest against the Vietnam War,
    • it considered the law justified by a significant government interest
    • that was unrelated to the suppression of speech and was tailored
    • towards that end.
    • O'Brien upheld the government's power to prosecute what was
    • becoming a pervasive method of anti-war protest. Its greater legacy,
    • however, was its application of a new constitutional standard. The test
    • articulated in O'Brien has been subsequently used by the Court
    • to analyze whether laws that have the effect of regulating speech,
    • though are ostensibly neutral towards the content of that speech,
    • violate the First Amendment. Though the O'Brien test has rarely
    • invalidated laws that the Court has found to be "content neutral," it
    • has given those engaging in expressive conduct—from the wearing of black armbands to the burning of flags—an additional tool to invoke against prohibitions.
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COMM 351 cases