Prior restraint: Uptick in using courts to silence press

Media lawyer Matthew Schafer, in Gen, February 11, 2022, reports that litigants are increasingly asking the courts to muzzle the press. In 1971 the Supreme Court ruled in the Pentagon Paper case that there should be a “heavy burden” for justification of prior restraint. Some courts have been persuaded to block the press, and some justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have expressed some disdain for the news media.

Reporter Billie Hobbs in The News Media & The Law, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Fall, 2010, reported a surge of prior restraint in 2010. Court orders forbidding reporting occur when judges fear it could affect the outcome of a proceeding.

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