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

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!