Since the Zurcher v. Stanford Daily decision which was authored by Justice Byron F. White, the news media has become increasingly concerned with its' first amendment protections from governmental searches. Since Justice White has been the voice of the United States Supreme Court on this very issue, the author submits that an examination of Justice White's media related opinions can serve as a "barometer" for the constitutional protections of the news media. The author examines the use of Justice White to the Supreme Court, his staunch adherence to stare decisis, and the historical foundation of the first amendment as they relate to the news media. The author then analyzes Justice White's media related opinions so as to indicate that the "barometer" does not point to a liberalized, almost privileged status of the press. Rather, the "barometer" points back to the Founding Fathers and notes that Justice White believes the press deserves neither more nor less constitutional protection than contemplated and afforded by the creators of the first amendment.
Michael J. Armstrong
A Barometer of Freedom of the Press: The Opinions of Mr. Justice White ,
8 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol8/iss1/5