Essay Example on Legal and Ethical Issue: New York Times Co. v. The United States

Published: 2023-01-05
Essay Example on Legal and Ethical Issue: New York Times Co. v. The United States
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Law Justice Constitution Ethical dilemma
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 971 words
9 min read


Since the united states have never been declared war by the year 1971, the country has been involved in the six-year war by North Vietnam. During the war, many American soldiers pass away, and the huge portion of the public Americans turned against the government. The defense Robert McNamara in 1967 stated the Role of the United States in Indochina which was a massive top history. A report was then produced and Neil Sheehan of the New York Times started publishing the article and giving out there findings (Day & Golan 2005).

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1st Amendment issue in the case

New York Times Co. v. The United States became a landmark decision on the First Amendment by the United States supreme court. It was made possible by the ruling to for the Washington Post and the New York Times to publish and then to be categorized as the Pentagon Papers free from the risk of the government punishment or censorship (Farnsworth & Lichter 2005).

The Times was pushed to stop the publication of the categorized information in its possession which had been claimed to the executive authority by the president Richard Nixon. The main concern that was before the court was on whether the First Amendment guaranteed the constitutional freedom of the was lowered to the need claimed to keep the information secrecy by the executive branch of the government. Thus, the ruling from the Supreme Court stated that the First Amendment protected the New York Times right to print the document (Farnsworth & Lichter 2005).

The appearance of the black article in the Times Sunday edition was on 13th June of 1971. Following the next day, an order was sent to the Times from a District Court Judge so that further publications could be stopped. It was because there was a claim from the government that the publication could cause some injury which is irreversible to the interest of the defense of the United States. There was also a need of joining the Washington Post and the New York Times from making publications of the content of classified study known as History of the United States Decision Making Process on the policy of Vietnam. The order from the government was also to restrain and prevent the Times from posting an article that was based upon the Pentagon Papers (Day & Golan 2005).

Finally, on 30th June, the right of the newspaper to publish the article was upheld by the Supreme Court. The court gave an opinion that it concurred with the decision made by the two lower courts for the rejection of the government request for the injunction. The legal questions were established by the court in its arrangement with the use of precedents. The court stated that "any system having restraints of expression beyond should come to the court having in mind a presumption which is heavy against the validity of the constitution." the primary purpose of the statement above was to make the inherent conflict presence between the First Amendment and the effort of the Government to be transparent (Farnsworth & Lichter 2005).

Why the case is relevant today

In the contemporary world, oily is realized that the government have turned against the media and is now censoring the press. It is because of the sensitive information that the government might not want the citizens to know because it might result in the chaos. Therefore the case is more relevant to today because several media platforms need to have freedom of expression and operate independently by molding the government through the information and also helping the individuals if in case the government is deceiving them. The relevance of the case is also viewed in the press in that no more permission should be acquired from the government before publishing the article which makes it vaguer (Allcott & Gentzkow 2017).

How the ruling impacts the media

The ruling of the case stated that the power of the government to rule over the press was abolished to give freedom to the media to always criticize the government. The ruling also protected the media so that it could carry the secrets of the government and display those secrets to the is because if the media is free, It is when it can effectively and efficiently expose the government deceptions. Most importantly, media gets now the freedom to have a responsibility of protecting people from being deceived by the government (Day & Golan 2005).

Therefore, the ruling has an impact on the media because on many occasions they have not had an opportunity to freely air out there views primarily to protect the citizens when the government is going astray. The media have been operating under some bondage, and now because of the ruling, the bondage is broken, and they are declared free to criticize the government and not vice versa. Freedom is good if it is used to some limits; media should again be very conscious of utilizing the freedom they have so that they don't get to the wrong position with the government. The impact of the ruling on the media has resulted in more positive benefits to the press and also to the people of the country. It is because the citizens will be able to get firsthand information and again the media will be able to publish the information they have gathered without any restrictions (Allcott & Gentzkow 2017).


Allcott, H., & Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. Journal of economic perspectives, 31(2), 211-36.

Day, A. G., & Golan, G. (2005). Source and content diversity in Op-Ed Pages: assessing editorial strategies in The New York Times and the Washington Post. Journalism Studies, 6(1), 61-71.

Farnsworth, S. J., & Lichter, S. R. (2005). The mediated congress: Coverage of capitol hill in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 10(2), 94-107.

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