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Ny Times Vs. Us

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The New York Times and the Washington Post illegally acquired 7,000 pages of a classified study prepared by the Defense Dept on the evolution of US-Vietnam policy. The study was known as the Pentagon Papers. On Sunday, June 13, 1971, the Times published the first of what would be several installments of a condensed version of the classified study. The Post began publishing their version of the series on June 18,1971.

On June 15, 1971, the Nixon administration went into US District Court in New York, and later the District of Columbia, seeking a judicial order blocking further publication of the planned series by the two newspapers that the Executive Branch insists should not, in the national interest, be published.

On June 25, 1971, the Supreme Court granted expedited review, with oral arguments scheduled the next day, June 26. The Court rendered its decision four days later on June 30.

The Justices agreed that the Government had not met the burden of proof that the disclosure of any of the publication series would result in direct, immediate, and irreparable damage to our Nation or its people. Therefore upholding the First Amendment’s freedom of press and deciding on behalf of the New York Times Co.

It was in Mr. Justice Stewart along with Mr. Justice White’s concurring opinion, I believe clearly explained and proved the point of the overall decision in that, “it is elementary that the successful conduct of international diplomacy and the maintenance of an effective national defense require both confidentiality and secrecy. Other nations can hardly deal with this Nation in an atmosphere of mutual trust unless they can be assured that their confidences will be kept. And within our own executive departments, the development of considered and intelligent international policies would be impossible if those charged with their formulation could not communicate with each other freely, frankly, and in confidence. In the area of basic national defense the frequent need for absolute secrecy is, of course, self-evident.”… “The responsibility must be where the power is. If the Constitution gives the Executive a large degree of unshared power in the conduct of foreign affairs and the maintenance of our national defense, then under the Constitution the Executive must have the largely unshared duty to determine and preserve the degree of internal security necessary to exercise that power successfully…the constitutional duty of the Executive вЂ" as a matter of sovereign prerogative and not as a matter of law as the courts know law вЂ" through the promulgation (make law) and enforcement of executive regulations, to protect the confidentiality necessary to carry out its responsibilities in the fields of international relations and national defense.” … “Congress has the power to enact specific and appropriate criminal laws to protect government property and preserve government secrets. Congress has passed such laws, and several of them are of very colorable relevance to the apparent circumstances of these cases. And if a criminal prosecution is instituted, it will be the responsibility of the courts to decide the applicability of the criminal law under which the charge is brought. Moreover, if Congress should pass a specific law authorizing civil proceeding in this field, the courts would likewise have the duty to decide the constitutionality of such a law as well as its applicability to the facts proved.” … “But in the cases before us we are asked neither to construe specific laws. We are asked, instead, to perform a function that the Constitution



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