Commission on Human Rights HREP Office and the Cagayan de Oro Press Club: On Human Rights and the Media, Training-Webinar Course Pack by marichu lambino 1st part of the 2nd part of 7 parts May 26, 10am

copyright marichu lambino . No part of this course pack may be reproduced without the author’s permission

FIRST CATEGORY OF RIGHTS:
RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM PRIOR RESTRAINT LEGAL REGIME

15 minutes of 40 minutes
First part: 5 minutes of 40 minutes

A.RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM PRIOR RESTRAINT (FREEDOM FROM CENSORSHIP)
1.Freedom from Prior Restraint
a)for print newspapers, applicable to online news sites

5 minutes of 40 minutes
New York Times vs. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) : In 1971: Can the US President prevent by court injunction the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing the highly classified documents, the “Pentagon Papers” on grounds of “national security”? The US Supreme Court in a vote of 6-3 ruled in favor of the New York Times and Washington Post and set aside the injunction preventing it from continuing with the publication. “Any system of prior restraint of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its constitutional validity.” xxx The Government “thus carries a heavy burden of showing justification for the imposition of such a restraint. xxx: Gov’t had not met that burden. (J. Black, with J. Douglas concurring): “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.xxx 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 shell.xxxthe New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly. In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam war, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do.xxx The word “security” is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic. xxx (J. Douglas, with J. Black concurring): any power that the Government possesses must come from its “inherent power”xxx the war power stems from a declaration of war. The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, power “(t)o declare War.” Nowhere are presidential wars authorized.xxxSecrecy in government is fundamentally anti-democratic, perpetuating bureaucratic errors. Open debate and discussion of public issues are vital to our national health. On public questions, there should be “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open” debate.

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