Brief Fact Summary. Members of the press were denied access to interview prison inmates in a face-to-face format.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The First Amendment does not guarantee the press special access to places not generally open to the public. The press has no right of access to prisons or inmates beyond what is given to the public.
Issue. Is it unconstitutional to prohibit the media physical access to prison inmates?
Held. No. The information sought can still be acquired via alternative means of communication. Therefore, the freedom of press is not denied in any way.
But when the issue involves a regulation limiting one of several means of communication by an inmate, the institutional objectives furthered by that regulation and the measure of judicial deference owed to corrections officials in their attempt to serve those interests are relevant in gauging the validity of the regulation.View Full Point of Law