Freedom of the Press and Association

Freedom of the Press and Association

Learn about the elusive but not illusory protections that the Supreme Court has read into the First Amendment in order to protect press freedom, including the right of access to judicial proceedings, constitutional protections against defamation and libel laws, and the ongoing debate over a qualified reporter’s privilege.


Two of the other rights the First Amendment protects are the freedom of the press and the freedom of association. As this lesson explains, though, how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Free Speech Clause has heavily influenced both of these rights.

I. Freedom of the Press

One of the only examples of a specific protection the Supreme Court has recognized under the Free Press Clause is a bar on taxes directed at the press. As rulings like Minneapolis Star and Tribune Company versus...