Cochran Critics Appeal Prior Restraint to High Court

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Tory will give the Supreme Court an unusual opportunity to rule on the prior restraint doctrine without the exigency of a case such as the Pentagon Papers. Speaking at a Practising Law Institute program in New York in November, First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams said that the Court might only briefly clarify that damages are the only permissible relief in defamation cases. But prior Court dicta suggest that view is not unanimous, Abrams said. A lengthier Court opinion might shake the bedrock First Amendment principle of “no prior restraint.”


Original published in the Media Law Notes in 2004.