Study Guide 1
• 1791 Bill of Rights – Collective name for Amendments 1 through 10, Right to assemble peacefully
• Free Speech applies to both individuals and groups because groups=groups of individuals
• Freedom of the press an institutional kind of voice (most news things are corporations)
• Before 1791, needed a license by government to publish. If criticized gov’t, license could be pulled
• FIRST AMENDMENT – Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition the Gov’t
• Framers of constitution favored Legislative branch (Article I), followed by Executive (President, but
also all the ABC committees, and cabinet & president picks all the judges), and then Judicial (9 justices
appointed by president for life) Media law impacts all three Articles and vice versa
• Precedent sets a standard/ settled law once set, seldom that courts reverse precedent, maybe modify
• Constitution was written to allow slavery, only way southern states would sign on, stayed that way till
after the civil war.
• Judicial Review final judge to what is or is not constitutional
• Libel written “lies”. Someone wrote something untrue about me and it harmed my reputation
• Plaintiff Person with the problem/suer
• Defendant Person/company trying not to get sued
• Trial Court Made up of jury
• Appeals Court made up of judges, need to take in account all facts of lower courts
• Supreme Court Does not need lower court details, if not chosen by supreme ct, last verdict stands,
however can ask lower courts to hold a retrial
• Remand= a case sent down to a lower court because of a violation of some sort
• Diversity the plaintiff and defendant are not in same state. Need to go to a mutual state for trial
♦ If PSU vs. NY, need to go to like NJ to get a fair trial
• Malbury vs. Madison Supreme ct. decides what is & isn’t constitutional
• ABC agencies and the cabinet changes with the president, each agency makes law
• Federal Communications Commission regulates all media but the internet
• Stare Decisis precedent, let the decision stand
• Different types of Law
1. Common Law (precedent) judgemade law, all law comes fromBritain, unified law in empire so
everyone has the same law
2. Equity Law – judge made law, sometimes legal process takes a long time, so this is the RIGHT NOW
Ex: restraining order, Kennedy Kids were getting photographed, Jackie couldn’t get
restraining order until kid fell off horse. Because accident, now CAN get restraining order
Pentagon Papers US. Vs. NYT (197X), NYT worked on history of how US got into Vietnam War.
Country still at odds with self. Vietnam was a French colony, that wanted to get free, and then US.
Comes in and loses war. US. Att. General said to NYT, no publishing story anymore. NYT sued. Equitiy
judge issued restraining order so can’t publish. Went to court, and by the time it was close to being
finished, other papers were publishing it.
*Newspaper can’t be sued for publishing classified info because they didn’t take the info.
3. Statutory Law Congress/Legislative created law, made by vote of elected officials
4. Constitutional Law If Supreme Ct. doesn’t like, can be ruled unconstitutional, even if made by
5. Administrative Law made by federal agencies.
6. Executive Order President made law.
Classification (top secret, secret, confidential)
Foreign Policy also made by congress
All administrative agencies=president appointed. WHAT DOES THE FIRST AMENDMENT MEAN?
• Meaning of 1 Amendment can change over the years. Since 1971, upward trajectory of freedom
• Original purpose of 1 Amendment was to protect political speech, advertising has no protection until 1964.
Alcohol as in tended will not kill you, cigarettes as intended, will kill you
Man and woman get paid to be filmed to participate in sexual acts=legal (erotic speech)
Prostitutes paid for same thing, but no filming (sometimes) illegal
• Syrian Conflict Assad, violated Geneva Conference 1925 law – no using poison gas, Secular (no
religion) Arab spring nation that failed in their revolution. US doesn’t know what to do because UN not
helping, & some rebels R Al Queda, and if help rebels=Al Queda, if no help, innocent people die
• Absolutism Congress shall make NO LAW, problem because 1.) libel 2.) Privacy 3.) False Ad
Tony Anne Diaz – elected on platform of change, first woman president of college, Press went
digging and found out that Tony was a man and went through a sex change=invasion of privacy
Ford & Derranged woman w/ gun a vet saved his life, and the next day, published in the papers that
the vet was gay. = invasion of privacy
• Ad Hoc Balancing takes two values in conflict and tries to decide which one a court should be in favor
of. Case by case basis. MOST USED.
• Preferred Position Balancing 1 Amendment given slightly more weight. (Gay man lost, but Tony
Ann Diaz won)
• Meiklejohn’s Theory famous philosopher, mini absolute theory, anything dealing with issues of
democracy/ societal interests, must be protected. Satire good. Should be able to laugh at the rich
• Marketplace of Ideas economic based metaphore dominates the courts today
• Access Theory freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one. No economic mean to access,
then no right.
• Self Realization Theory main thing is the discovery of the truth. It can be valuable the person who
reads it. One shirt or button missing won’t change another one’s vote
Magna Carta (1215) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned or disposed or outlawed or condemned to
prison, except by legal judgment of peers by laws of the land.
• Criminal law is statutory law
• Hierarchy Of 1 Amendment
Print media/online= highest degree of government hands off
Cable TV Protection of content, but have economic censorship
Ontheair Network TV & Radio greatest amount of censorship, no using bad words = offensive
Internet need to be 18 to get access to porn on library internet. (Have to ask librarian). Congress can control
tax and how it is used
Real power and control is in the economics
1445 Gutenberg made printing press, church and monarchy pissed!
1476 Eng. Gov’t required printers to post bonds and apply for licenses, & made seditious libel a crime
1644 John Milton wrote truthful statements. You shouldn’t be punished by the gov’t
1690 Publick Occurences 1 newspaper published in colonies, started & shut down immediately
1735 John Peter Zenger acquitted, Printed paper that was critical of the gov’t, He just printed, didn’t write.
Wealthy people got him good lawyer, and got him off the sedition charge. Legal victory for concept, not
actually made a law.
1787 Constitution, south was opposed b/c wanted slavery. So wrote slavery into constitution
1791 Congress shall make NO LAW abridging the freedom of speech and press. /Bill of Rights
• Seditious Libel (Sedition) – criticizing gov’t, been said and published
1798 Alien and Sedition Act crime to criticize gov’t
*Up until 1790, one party, the federalists. Majority of congress wanted to do business with
Britain even thought the French helped us. Thomas Jefferson said, should have exclusive trade agreement with
France. Thomas Jefferson gained followers, Jeffersonian Republicans. Newspapers were all political back then. France started a naval war, irish Immigration, cracked down Jeffersonians. VIOLATED 1 Am. 1800 T.J elected
president. Aaron Burr was his competition (guy who shot Hamilton)
WWI opposition to WW