New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the First Amendment. The ruling made it possible for The New York Times and The Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censorship or punishment.
President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment, was subordinate to a claimed need of the executive branch of government to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment did protect the right of The New York Times to print the materials.
|New York Times Co. v. United States|
|Argued June 26, 1971|
Decided June 30, 1971
|Full case name||New York Times Company v. United States; United States v. The Washington Post Company et al.|
|Citations||403 U.S. 713 (more)|
|Prior history||United States v. New York Times Co., 328 F. Supp. 324 (S.D.N.Y. 1971)|
United States v. New York Times Co., 444 F.2d 544 (2d Cir. 1971)
United States v. Washington Post Co., 446 F.2d 1322, 1327 (D.C. Cir. 1971)
|To exercise prior restraint, the Government must show sufficient evidence that the publication would cause a "grave and irreparable" danger.|
|Concurrence||Black, joined by Douglas|
|Concurrence||Douglas, joined by Black|
|Concurrence||Stewart, joined by White|
|Concurrence||White, joined by Stewart|
|Dissent||Harlan, joined by Burger, Blackmun|
|U.S. Const. amend. I|
By 1971, the United States, although never having declared war, had been engaged in a war with North Vietnam for six years. At this point, 59,000 American soldiers had died and the government was facing widespread dissent from large portions of the American public. In 1967 Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara commissioned a "massive top-secret history of the United States role in Indochina". Daniel Ellsberg, who had helped to produce the report, leaked 43 volumes of the 47-volume, 7,000-page report to reporter Neil Sheehan of The New York Times in March 1971 and the paper began publishing articles outlining the findings.
The black article appeared in the Times' Sunday edition, on June 13, 1971. By the following Tuesday, the Times received an order to cease further publication from a District Court judge, at the request of the administration. The government claimed it would cause "irreparable injury to the defense interests of the United States" and wanted to "enjoin The New York Times and The Washington Post from publishing the contents of a classified study entitled History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on the Vietnam Policy."
The government sought a restraining order that prevented the Times from posting any further articles based upon the Pentagon Papers. In addition to The New York Times Company, the Justice Department named the following defendants: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, president and publisher; Harding Bancroft and Ivan Veit, executive vice presidents; Francis Cox, James Goodale, Sydney Gruson, Walter Mattson, John McCabe, John Mortimer and James Reston, vice presidents; John B. Oakes, editorial page editor; A. M. Rosenthal, managing editor; Daniel Schwarz, Sunday editor; Clifton Daniel and Tom Wicker, associate editors; Gerald Gold and Allan M. Siegal, assistant foreign editors; Neil Sheehan, Hedrick Smith, E. W. Kenworthy and Fox Butterfield, reporters; and Samuel Abt, a foreign desk copy editor.
Section 793 of the Espionage Act was cited by Attorney General John N. Mitchell as cause for the United States to bar further publication of stories based upon the Pentagon Papers. The statute was spread over three pages of the United States Code Annotated and the only part that appeared to apply to the Times was 793(e), which made it criminal for:
Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it [shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both]. 
Based on this language, Alexander Bickel and Floyd Abrams felt there were three preliminary arguments to raise. First, the wording of the statute was very broad. Was each article about foreign policy one "relating to the national defense"? What was the significance of "reason to believe" that the Pentagon Papers "could be used to the injury of the United States or the advantage of any foreign nation"? If the motivation was to educate the public, was that a defense that served to help, not hinder, the country? Would the public be "a person not entitled to receive" the information? Of equal importance was what the statute did not say: No references to "publication" (as Attorney General Mitchell's cease-and-desist order referenced), no reference to classified information, and no support for Mitchell's reliance on the top secret classification to justify restraint on publication. Additionally, there was no statutory language providing authority for prior restraint on publication at all.
Second, was the relevance of Mitchell's reliance on a criminal statute in a civil proceeding seeking prior restraint. There was Supreme Court precedent that lent support to the idea that bans on the publication of information by the press to be unconstitutional. In 1907 Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the "main purpose" of the First Amendment was "to prevent all such previous restraints upon publications as had been practiced by other governments." In 1931 the Court wrote that only the narrowest circumstances—such as publication of the dates of departure of ships during wartime—were permissibly restrained. In 1969 John Marshall Harlan II wrote that the Supreme Court "rejected all manner of prior restraint on publication." This second line of reasoning made it seem the statute should only be dealt with in passing, making the case a First Amendment one and the relief the government wanted—a bar on publication—unavailable.
The third possible approach was a very broad view of the First Amendment, one not focused on the impact of a government victory on the life of a democratic society if prior restraint were granted; but that the publication of just these sorts of materials—governmental misjudgments and misconducts of high import—is exactly why the First Amendment exists.
Federal judge Murray Gurfein heard arguments in the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Michael Hess, chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorneys Office, argued "serious injuries are being inflicted on our foreign relations, to the benefit of other nations opposed to our foreign relations, to the benefit of other nations opposed to our form of government." Hess relied on Secretary of State William P. Rogers's statement reported earlier that day that a number of nations were concerned about the Papers publication and an affidavit from the general counsel of the Navy that alleged irreparable injury if publication did not cease. Hess asked for a temporary restraining order.
Bickel argued that the separation of powers barred the court from issuing the restraining order since there was no statute authorizing such relief. He further argued that there was no exception to the general unavailability of prior restraint that applied in this case. Gurfein called all counsel to his chambers and asked Bickel and Abrams to have the Times cease publication of the Papers until he could review them. Bickel responded that Gurfein would be the first judge in American history to enter a prior restraint enjoining publication of news if he granted the government's request. The Times refused to cease publication. Gurfein granted the request and set a hearing for June 18.
The New York Times agreed to abide by the restraining order and on June 19, Judge Gurfein rejected the administration's request for an injunction, writing that "[t]he security of the Nation is not at the ramparts alone. Security also lies in the value of our free institutions. A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know." However, the Court of Appeals, after an en banc hearing, granted an injunction until June 25.
On June 18, 1971, The Washington Post began publishing its own series of articles based upon the Pentagon Papers. That day, Assistant U.S. Attorney General William Rehnquist asked the Post to cease publication. After the paper refused, Rehnquist sought an injunction in the District Court for the District of Columbia, but Judge Gerhard Gesell rejected the government's request, as did the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. This inconsistency between the courts of appeal led the Supreme Court to hear the case.
The Supreme Court heard arguments from the Executive Branch, the Times, the Post, and the Justice Department on June 25 and 26, 1971. Along with the issue of how the Times obtained the documents (which was being investigated by a federal grand jury elsewhere) the real issue for the Court was whether there was a sufficient justification for prior restraint, which would be a suspension of the newspapers' First Amendment rights to freedom of the press. The First Amendment states that no federal law can be made abridging the freedom of the press, but a few landmark cases in the 20th century had established precedents creating exceptions to that rule.
The most recent incarnation of the exception was the grave and probable danger rule, established in Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951). During this case, the wording was changed to the grave and irreparable danger standard. The idea behind the numerous versions of the rule is that if a certain message will likely cause a "grave and irreparable" danger to the American public when expressed, then the message's prior restraint could be considered an acceptable infringement of civil liberties. The Supreme Court was therefore charged with determining if the Government had sufficiently met the "burden of showing justification for the imposition of such a restraint".
On June 30, with six Justices concurring and three dissenting, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the newspapers to publish the material. The Court issued a very brief per curiam opinion, stating only that the Court concurred with the decisions of the two lower courts to reject the Government's request for an injunction. In its decision, the court first established the legal question with the use of precedents. It first stated that "Any system of prior restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its constitutional validity". The purpose of this statement was to make the presence of the inherent conflict between the Government's efforts and the First Amendment clear. The decision then stated that the government "thus carries a heavy burden of showing justification for the imposition of such a restraint". This reinforced the idea that it was the Nixon Administration's responsibility to show sufficient evidence that the newspapers' actions would cause a "grave and irreparable" danger.
New York Times v. United States is generally considered a victory for an extensive reading of the First Amendment, but as the Supreme Court ruled on whether the government had made a successful case for prior restraint, its decision did not void the Espionage Act or give the press unlimited freedom to publish classified documents.
Justice Hugo Black wrote an opinion that elaborated on his view of the absolute superiority of the First Amendment:
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., wrote separately to explain that the publication of the documents did not qualify as one of the three exceptions to the freedom of expression established in Near v. Minnesota (1931).
Justices Potter Stewart and Byron R. White agreed that it is the responsibility of the Executive to ensure national security through the protection of its information. However, in areas of national defense and international affairs, the President possesses great constitutional independence that is virtually unchecked by the Legislative and Judicial branch. "In absence of governmental checks and balances", wrote Justice Stewart, "the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in [these two areas] may lie in an enlightened citizenry – in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government".
Justice Thurgood Marshall argued that the term "national security" was too broad to legitimize prior restraint, and also argued that it is not the Court's job to create laws where the Congress had not spoken.
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, dissenting, argued that when "the imperative of a free and unfettered press comes into collision with another imperative, the effective functioning of a complex modern government", there should be a detailed study on the effects of these actions. He argued that in the haste of the proceedings, and given the size of the documents, the Court was unable to gather enough information to make a decision. He also argued that the Times should have discussed the possible societal repercussions with the Government prior to publication of the material. The Chief Justice did not argue that the Government had met the aforementioned standard, but rather that the decision should not have been made so hastily.
Events from the year 1971 in the United States.First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws which respect an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights was originally proposed to assuage Anti-Federalist opposition to Constitutional ratification. Initially, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress, and many of its provisions were interpreted more narrowly than they are today. Beginning with Gitlow v. New York (1925), the Supreme Court applied the First Amendment to states—a process known as incorporation—through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the Court drew on Thomas Jefferson's correspondence to call for "a wall of separation between church and State", though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute. Speech rights were expanded significantly in a series of 20th and 21st-century court decisions which protected various forms of political speech, anonymous speech, campaign financing, pornography, and school speech; these rulings also defined a series of exceptions to First Amendment protections. The Supreme Court overturned English common law precedent to increase the burden of proof for defamation and libel suits, most notably in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964). Commercial speech, however, is less protected by the First Amendment than political speech, and is therefore subject to greater regulation.
The Free Press Clause protects publication of information and opinions, and applies to a wide variety of media. In Near v. Minnesota (1931) and New York Times v. United States (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected against prior restraint—pre-publication censorship—in almost all cases. The Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action. In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the Court has also ruled that the amendment implicitly protects freedom of association.Freedom for the Thought That We Hate
Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment is a 2007 non-fiction book by journalist Anthony Lewis about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought, and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The book starts by quoting the First Amendment, which prohibits the U.S. Congress from creating legislation which limits free speech or freedom of the press. Lewis traces the evolution of civil liberties in the U.S. through key historical events. He provides an overview of important free speech case law, including U.S. Supreme Court opinions in Schenck v. United States (1919), Whitney v. California (1927), United States v. Schwimmer (1929), New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), and New York Times Co. v. United States (1971).
The title of the book is drawn from the dissenting opinion by Supreme Court Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in United States v. Schwimmer. Holmes wrote that "if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought—not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate." Lewis warns the reader against the potential for government to take advantage of periods of fear and upheaval in a post-9/11 society to suppress freedom of speech and criticism by citizens.
The book was positively received by reviewers, including Jeffrey Rosen in The New York Times, Richard H. Fallon in Harvard Magazine, Nat Hentoff, two National Book Critics Circle members, and Kirkus Reviews. Jeremy Waldron commented on the work for The New York Review of Books and criticized Lewis' stance towards freedom of speech with respect to hate speech. Waldron elaborated on this criticism in his book The Harm in Hate Speech (2012), in which he devoted a chapter to Lewis' book. This prompted a critical analysis of both works in The New York Review of Books in June 2012 by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.Freedom of speech in the United States
In the United States, freedom of speech and expression is strongly protected from government restrictions by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, many state constitutions, and state and federal laws. The Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment and has recognized that governments may enact reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions on speech. The First Amendment's constitutional right of free speech, which is applicable to state and local governments under the incorporation doctrine, only prevents government restrictions on speech, not restrictions imposed by private individuals or businesses unless they are acting on behalf of the government. However, laws may restrict the ability of private businesses and individuals from restricting the speech of others, such as employment laws that restrict employers' ability to prevent employees from disclosing their salary with coworkers or attempting to organize a labor union.The First Amendment's freedom of speech right not only proscribes most government restrictions on the content of speech and ability to speak, but also protects the right to receive information, prohibits most government restrictions or burdens that discriminate between speakers, restricts the tort liability of individuals for certain speech, and prevents the government from requiring individuals and corporations to speak or finance certain types of speech with which they don't agree.Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment include obscenity (as determined by the Miller test), fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as rights for authors over their works (copyright), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons, restrictions on the use of untruths to harm others (slander), and communications while a person is in prison. When a speech restriction is challenged in court, it is presumed invalid and the government bears the burden of convincing the court that the restriction is constitutional.Freedom of the press in the United States
Freedom of the press in the United States is legally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment is generally understood to prevent the government from interfering with the distribution of information and opinions.
Nevertheless, freedom of the press In the United States is subject to certain restrictions, such as defamation law, a lack of protection for whistleblowers, barriers to information access and constraints caused by public hostility to journalists.
International agencies rank the United States behind most other Western nations for press freedom, but ahead of most Asian, African and South American countries.James Goodale
James C. Goodale (born July 27, 1933) was the former vice president and general counsel for The New York Times and, later, the Times' vice chairman.
He is the author of Fighting for the Press: the Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles. The book was named twice as the best non-fiction book of 2013 by Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief of The Guardian, and Alan Clanton, editor of the online Thursday Review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit cited "Fighting for the Press" in its decision May 7, 2015, limiting the controversial National Security Agency (NSA) domestic phone monitoring program.He represented the Times in four of its United States Supreme Court cases, including Branzburg v. Hayes in which the Times intervened on behalf of its reporter Earl Caldwell. The other cases were New York Times v. Sullivan, New York Times Co. v. United States (the Pentagon Papers case), and New York Times Co. v. Tasini. He was the leading force behind the Times' decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971.After the Times' outside counsel, Lord Day & Lord, advised the Times against publishing classified information and quit when the United States Justice Department threatened to sue the paper to stop publication, Goodale led his own legal team and directed the strategy that resulted in winning the Supreme Court case of New York Times Co. v. United States.He has been called "the father of the reporter's privilege" because of his interpretation of the Branzburg case in the Hastings Law Journal. This led to the establishment of a reporter's privilege to protect sources in most states and federal circuits. Goodale created the specialty of First Amendment law among commercial lawyers. From 1972-2007 he established and chaired an annual Communications Law Seminar at the Practising Law Institute. This led to the creation of a First Amendment Bar. He continues to serve as the seminar's chairman emeritus.After he left The New York Times in 1980, he joined the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City. there he founded a corporate group and a litigation group dealing with media, communications, and the First Amendment. These groups have represented many well-known U.S. communication entities including the New York Times, CBS, and NBC.
He served as chairman of the board for the Committee to Protect Journalists from 1989 - 1994. During his tenure he built CPJ into a significant international force, instrumental in the release of imprisoned journalists around the globe.
From 1995-2010 he produced and hosted over 300 programs for Digital Age on WNYE-TV, a TV show about the effect of the internet on media and society.
Since 1977 he has taught First Amendment and Communications law at Yale, New York University and Fordham law schools and has authored over 200 articles in publications such as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and the Stanford Law Review. Columbia Journalism Review has listed James Goodale as one of 200 who shaped New York Media. He was named by Time magazine in 1974 as one of the rising leaders in the United States.Goodale was the recipient of the "Champion of the First Amendment Award," from the American Bar Association Forum in February 2014.On May 5, 2015, PEN America awarded the 2015 PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award to the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo. Many of that magazines' editors had been killed in a homegrown jihadist terrorist attack.The award caused an international controversy as to whether it should have been given to Charlie Hebdo. Over 200 writers signed a protest against the award and many withdrew from the PEN dinner at which the award was given. In reply to attack on the award given by him and his wife, Goodale said, "the award is not for what is said. It's for the right to say it. In this case, journalists got killed for what they said. They should be honored, and my wife and I are extremely proud to do that."List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 403
This is a list of all the United States Supreme Court cases from volume 403 of the United States Reports:
Gordon v. Lance, 403 U.S. 1 (1971)
Utah v. United States, 403 U.S. 9 (1971)
Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971)
Rosenbloom v. Metromedia, Inc., 403 U.S. 29 (1971)
Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88 (1971)
Ely v. Klahr, 403 U.S. 108 (1971)
Whitcomb v. Chavis, 403 U.S. 124 (1971)
Abate v. Mundt, 403 U.S. 182 (1971)
United States v. Mitchell (1971), 403 U.S. 190 (1971)
Connell v. Higginbotham, 403 U.S. 207 (1971) (per curiam)
Johnson v. Mississippi, 403 U.S. 212 (1971) (per curiam)
Palmer v. Thompson, 403 U.S. 217 (1971)
Motor Coach Employees v. Lockridge, 403 U.S. 274 (1971)
Hodgson v. Steelworkers, 403 U.S. 333 (1971)
Commissioner v. Lincoln Sav. & Loan Assn., 403 U.S. 345 (1971)
Graham v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 365 (1971)
Simpson v. Florida, 403 U.S. 384 (1971) (per curiam)
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)
Jenness v. Fortson, 403 U.S. 431 (1971)
Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443 (1971)
McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 403 U.S. 528 (1971)
United States v. Harris, 403 U.S. 573 (1971)
Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971)
Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 (1971)
Clay v. United States, 403 U.S. 698 (1971) (per curiam)
Hunter v. Tennessee, 403 U.S. 711 (1971) (per curiam)
New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) (per curiam)
Perry v. Sindermann, 403 U.S. 917 (1971) (cert. granted)List of cases argued by Floyd Abrams
This page contains a list and short descriptions of Floyd Abrams's most influential and famous cases. As an advocate of the First Amendment, Abrams' career has put him in a class of prominent legal scholars who have shaped American understanding of fundamental rights found in the United States Constitution. That work is documented here. In his 2005 book Speaking Freely, he outlines his knowledge of and perspective on the cases below. In this memoir, Abrams states this collection of cases showcases the work people have put into free speech in the United States.In his review of the book, Lee Levine wrote "that the modern history of the freedom of the press in this country is intimately associated with the career and work of Floyd Abrams." His career matured in the late 1960s, right after the Supreme Court decided New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964). He has worked on the Pentagon Papers case and Branzburg v. Hayes (1972), to Landmark Communications v. Virginia (1978) and Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co. (1979), to Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976). He has defended numerous clients, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art from Rudolph Giuliani over the Sensation exhibition, NBC from Wayne Newton, and Al Franken from a trademark lawsuit from Fox News Channel over the use of the phrase "Fair and Balanced" in the title of his book.Near v. Minnesota
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931), is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision that found that prior restraints on publication violate freedom of the press as protected under the First Amendment, 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".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.Nebraska Press Ass'n v. Stuart
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539 (1976), was a landmark Supreme Court of the United States decision in which the Court held unconstitutional prior restraints on media coverage during criminal trials.Neil Sheehan
Cornelius Mahoney "Neil" Sheehan (born October 27, 1936) is an American journalist. As a reporter for The New York Times in 1971, Sheehan obtained the classified Pentagon Papers from Daniel Ellsberg. His series of articles revealed a secret United States Department of Defense history of the Vietnam War and led to a US Supreme Court case, New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), when the United States government unsuccessfully attempted to halt publication.He received a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for his 1988 book A Bright Shining Lie, about the life of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann and the United States involvement in the Vietnam War.Official Secrets Act
"Official Secrets Act" is a term used in Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom, and formerly in Canada and New Zealand for legislation that provides for the protection of state secrets and official information, mainly related to national security.Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. The papers were released by Daniel Ellsberg, who had worked on the study; they were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of The New York Times in 1971. A 1996 article in The New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers had demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration "systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress".More specifically, the papers revealed that the U.S. had secretly enlarged the scope of its actions in the Vietnam War with the bombings of nearby Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, none of which were reported in the mainstream media.For his disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was initially charged with conspiracy, espionage, and theft of government property, but the charges were later dismissed after prosecutors investigating the Watergate scandal discovered that the staff members in the Nixon White House had ordered the so-called White House Plumbers to engage in unlawful efforts to discredit Ellsberg.In June 2011, the entirety of the Pentagon Papers was declassified and publicly released.Per curiam decision
In law, a per curiam decision (or opinion) is a ruling issued by an appellate court of multiple judges in which the decision rendered is made by the court (or at least, a majority of the court) acting collectively (and typically, though not necessarily, unanimously). In contrast to regular opinions, a per curiam does not list the individual judge responsible for authoring the decision, but minority dissenting and concurring decisions are signed.It is not the only type of decision that can reflect the opinion of the court. Other types of decisions can also reflect the opinion of the entire court, such as unanimous decisions in which the opinion of the court is expressed, with an author listed. The term per curiam is Latin for "by the court".
United States First Amendment case law