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Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart

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Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.427 U.S. 539, 96 S. Ct. 2791, 49 L. Ed. 2d 683, 1 Med. L. Rptr. 1064 (1976)

Brief Fact Summary. The Respondent, Stuart (Respondent), a State District Judge, entered a restraining order, keeping the press from publishing accounts regarding the murder of six persons. The Petitioner, the Nebraska Press Association (Petitioner), sought review to determine whether the Respondent’s order abrogated its freedom of the press.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. While in some circumstances, it may be beneficial to suppress the press when it can be shown that a criminal defendant will endure irreparable prejudice if publication is allowed, a Judge who wishes to do so must consider the First Amendment constitutional protections afforded to the press.


Facts. On October 18, 1975, the police found that six members of the Kellie family had been murdered. The crime attracted widespread media coverage and both the prosecutor and defense attorney sought an order restraining coverage of the murders, to deter the potential prejudicial affect on a future jury. The Nebraska Supreme Court modified the restraining order and then affirmed it as modified. The Petitioner sought review of the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court).

Issue. The issue presented in this case is whether the press can be suppressed, in the interest of an ongoing criminal investigation.
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