A Violation Of The Espionage Laws

Better Essays
Despite Mitchell 's letter, the New York Times declined the order and, as a result, the government got a restraining order against them so no further articles could be published (Moise 921). Because of the restraining order against the New York Times, Daniel Ellsberg went to the Washington Post and gave copies of the secret documents for them to publish on their own. When the government found out about the exchange between the Washington Post editor and Ellsberg, they informed the editor that further publishment of the Pentagon Papers would be a violation of the Espionage Laws. Despite this warning, the editor proceeded to publish articles. When the case was considered by the United States Supreme Court, the ruling was 6-3, which established a precedent that allowed publication of sensitive information, even if the government tried to mask it from the people ("The Pentagon Papers: Free- At Last" 22). Because of the New York Times v. United States court decision, the First Amendment right of freedom of press and prior restraint rights were protected by ensuring that the government generally did not have the power to limit what gets published, unless people’s lives were at stake, by depriving them of knowing information in a time of war. Prior to this ruling, First Amendment cases that involved times of war tended to favor the government. However, in cases that did not involve times of war, the Court ruled in favor of the press. The impact of this case has been to demonstrate
Get Access