Supreme Court Watch: Free Press Focus

SUPREME COURT WATCH: FREE PRESS FOCUS

For decades, the Supreme Court’s decisions have both extended and restricted free press protections through the interpretation of the First Amendment in cases that have come before it. The Court continues to hear such cases to this day. The News/Media Alliance monitors these cases and participates in amicus briefs where appropriate, in an effort to protect the rights of news and magazine media.

We’ve provided summaries of each of the major Supreme Court decisions from the 2022-2023 term that implicate the free press. To discover how these rulings could impact the work of journalists and their protections afforded under the First Amendment, click “Read More” below.

Some of the cases the Supreme Court has agreed to hear, but has not yet decided, that the Alliance will be monitoring include:

– O’Connor-Ratcliff V. Garnier – This case asks the Court to consider whether the first amendment prohibits public officials from blocking critics on social media. The ruling could affect journalists, whose contributions to online discussion and gaining information on public officials could be restricted.

– Netchoice & CCIA v. Moody – The case asks the Court whether Florida Senate Bill 7072, and its compelled disclosure requirements, complies with the First Amendment. The bill aims to protect Floridians from censorship by Big Tech but was found unconstitutional by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

– Netchoice v. Paxton – The case considers whether the Supreme Court should restrict Texas from enforcing Texas House Bill 20, related to the censorship of free speech and digital expression. The District Court’s preliminary injunction prohibited the state from enforcing the Bill, holding that the First Amendment protects the editorial independence of social media platforms, and now the Court will decide whether to reinstate it.

Research compiled by Kayla Singer

Latest Rulings


Celebrating 60 Years of Free Speech Thanks to This One Pivotal Supreme Court Case
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Celebrating 60 Years of Free Speech Thanks to This One Pivotal Supreme Court Case

This month, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of one of the most important Supreme Court cases – New York Times v. Sullivan – that significantly shaped free speech protections for the press and the public at large ... Read More
Supreme Court Declines to Revisit NYT v. Sullivan, though Justice Thomas Wants to Revisit it in Future
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Supreme Court Declines to Revisit NYT v. Sullivan, though Justice Thomas Wants to Revisit it in Future

On October 10th, the Supreme Court declined to revisit the landmark First Amendment decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, which provides vital First Amendment protections to journalists and the public ... Read More
303 Creative LLC v. Elenis
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303 Creative LLC v. Elenis

The Court navigates between free speech and Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. The Supreme Court rules that Colorado cannot force a website designer to create designs against her beliefs. Decided on June 30, 2023 ... Read More
Counterman v. Colorado
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Counterman v. Colorado

The Supreme Court strengthens protections for journalists against charges of threat. For a threat prosecution, the government must prove that the speaker was intentionally reckless with their words. Decided on June 27, 2023 ... Read More
United States v. Hansen
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United States v. Hansen

The Supreme Court removes protections on speech “encouraging” illegal immigration. The ruling upholds a statute that allows for the criminal prosecution of speech considered as “encouraging” or “inducing” illegal immigration. Decided on June 23, 2023 ... Read More
Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC
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Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC

The Supreme Court strengthens protections for trademark owners. Justices demonstrate that creative media does not receive preferential treatment in trademark use. Decided on June 8, 2023 ... Read More
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News/Media Alliance Calls on FTC, DOJ to Investigate Google’s Misappropriation of Digital News Publishing, Stop Expansion of Generative AI Overviews Offering - Read more