ERIC Number: ED247561
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Constitutional Right to Gather Information: The Limitation of a First Amendment Freedom.
Sherer, Michael D.; Moore, Meredith A.
To examine how the Supreme Court has ruled on press claims of a constitutional right to gather information, this paper summarizes important decisions in eight key cases. Although none of the cases clearly outlines and defines the Court's approach to the right of the press and public to gather information, insights may be gained through a consideration of the cases as a whole, and this is the subject of Section I. Section II presents the opinions of certain justices regarding the recognition of a right to gather news and the protection of that right, while Section III describes the limited right to gather news and explains that a general First Amendment right to gather information has never been clearly granted by the Court--in fact, the Court has chosen to take a narrow approach to any concept of a First Amendment Freedom to gather information. This section takes up the questions of differing interests in access to information, the press as a public surrogate, the press versus public access, and defining the press. Section IV, which provides a summary and conclusions, notes that what the Court has said, both directly and by implication, is that the right to gather information is limited both by the law and by reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that the government can impose on the medias' request for news. It finds that the Court has weighed the competing interests of those seeking access to information against the interests of those who wish to deny access and concludes that the central theme emerging from the described cases is that there is at best a limited First Amendment right of the press to gather information. (CRH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: First Amendment; Supreme Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).