December 28, 2011
Who is 'The Press' in the First Amendment?
What does "the press" mean in the First Amendment's guarantee "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of...the press"? The Mainstream Media or collection of reputable Internet, print, TV, and radio journalists, right? Bloggers, too, if you're feeling generous? Sorry, brah! In his landmark new article on the press clause's original meaning titled "'The Freedom of...the Press,' From 1791 to 1868 to Now- Freedom for the Press as an Industry, or the Press as a Technology," UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh argues the Founders meant the press clause's "the press" to be the printing press (a printing technology) and any future communication technology. Crazy, right? So the Founders really meant something more like "freedom of...the printing press" or "freedom in the use of the press"? In a jump-kick to "the press-as-journalists"'s face, Volokh notes Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), the most widely used dictionary at the...(Read Full Article)