The Importance Of Freedom Of Speech

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From the 18th to century to now, freedom of the press as been a topic of contention in the courts. Whether it is cases about alleged libel against a public figure or the government attempting to censor the media for publishing criticism or scandalous news about the government, the Supreme Court has played its part in constructing the precedent for freedom of speech cases today. Cases such as New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and New York Times Co. v. United States enforced publications rights to be the voice for the people and responsibilities to make sure that the people’s voices will be heard.
When in 1735 that John Zenger was put on trial for “seditious libel,” for publishing inflammatory words against the royal governor of the New York Colony, there was not a First Amendment to protect him. The only people who were protected with freedom of speech were the members of Parliament as dictated in the Bill of Rights 1689. That changed when the jury ruled him not guilty because what he was saying was true. Libel would once again be re-defined 200 years later with New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
On March 29, 1960, The New York Times published the paper with an ad bought by the “Committee to Defend Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Freedom in the
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The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government 's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and
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