1927 September 24

Jay Near Publishes “Defamatory” Articles, Heads for Supreme Court

 

Jay Near published The Saturday Press, a small newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which specialized in political scandal, with attacks on the political establishment, allegations of corruption, and scurrilous attacks on his targets. Near was also very anti-Semitic, and blamed much of the corruption in the city on Jews. On this day, he published the first of nine articles which made wild attacks on certain political figures. The articles led to his arrest and conviction for violating a local nuisance ordinance. His appeal resulted in Near v. Minnesota, decided on June 1, 1931, the first important freedom of the press decision by the Supreme Court, which established the principle that prior restraint of publications violates the First Amendment.

Read about the famous case: Fred Friendly, Minnesota Rag (1981)

Learn more about the Near case: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resources/lessons-plans/landmark-cases-and-the-constitution/near-v-minnesota-1931/

Learn more about freedom of the press at the Newseum Institute in Washington: http://www.newseum.org/institute/index.html

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