nebraska press association vs. stuart
- In the 1976 landmark case Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539 (1976), the Court addressed the constitutionality of an order prohibiting the media from publishing or broadcasting certain information about Erwin Charles Simants, who was accused of murdering the Henry Kellie family in a small town in Nebraska. This case pitted the First Amendment rights of a free press against the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.
- To ensure that Simants received a fair trial, the Nebraska Supreme Court modified the district court's order to prohibit reporting of confessions or admissions made by Simants or facts "strongly implicative" of Simants.
- A prior restraint is an official restriction of speech prior to publication. Prior restraints are viewed by the Supreme Court of the United States as "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights" (Note 1). Since 1931, the Court repeatedly has found that such attempts to censor the media are presumed unconstitutional.