In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.

Hugo Black (1886-1971) American politician and jurist, US Supreme Court Justice (1937-71)
New York Times Co. v. United States 403 U.S. 713, 717 (1971) [concurring]
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Added on 24-Feb-17 | Last updated 29-Dec-22
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