u s constitution

517 Words3 Pages
In 1971, for the first time in the history of America, the executive branch of the U.S. government attempted to ban the press from releasing significant information about the Vietnam War to the American public. This classified information obtained by Ellsberg assumed in the risk of the lives of and potentially the death of thousands of American military soldiers. Additionally this information would expose that the government was lying to the American people about the details of the Vietnam War. (Schoenfield, 2010). Ellsberg was convinced that it was important for him to educate the public about the negative information he had obtained. Consequently, he leaks the information to the New York Times newspaper so that the people may make the decision to exercise their rights to protest and to try to stop the unjustified war. In a letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson also felt that it was important “to educate and inform the whole mass of the people” to thus”enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order” (Jefferson, 1787). The public has a right to know about the actions of their government especially when the citizen’s lives are at risk. The public has the right to be informed when their government is giving them false information and we can be educated about such matters through the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. According to the Supreme Court case, New York Times v. United States (1971), the press has a duty “to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people”. Our first amendment is clear that our freedom of speech and of the press is a freedom that Congress can make no law to prohibit (U.S. Const. amend. I). These freedoms are necessary to protect the people speci... ... middle of paper ... ...ent/CAS/eBooks/Kirkpatrick/Book1.pdf. New York Times Co v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971). Retrieved from http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=403&invol=713. Schoenfield, G. (2010). Rethinking the pentagon papers. In National Affairs. 4, Retrieved from http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/rethinking-the-pentagon-papers. U.S. Const. art. III, s. 3. Retrieved from http://idcontent.bellevue.edu/content/CAS/eBooks/Kirkpatrick/Book1.pdf. U.S. Const. amend. I. Retrieved from http://idcontent.bellevue.edu/content/CAS/eBooks/Kirkpatrick/Book1.pdf. Whittington, K.E. (2006, May 1). How to read the Constitution: Self government and the jurisprudence of originalism. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/05/how-to-read-the-constitution-self-government-and-the-jurisprudence-of-originalism.

More about u s constitution

Open Document