226 years of the Supreme Court

September 24 marks the 226th birthday of the U.S. Supreme Court. Founded in 1789 under President George Washington, the Supreme Court was originally comprised of six justices who would serve until retirement or death. Their landmark decisions continue to set precedent for several laws we follow today, including guiding the press in its media coverage. Media cases in court often deal with the press’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. One such case was New York Times Co. vs. United States (1971). The New York Times had obtained Defense Department documents—famously referred to today as the Pentagon Papers—which contained important discussions about the Vietnam War. The government tried to prevent the publication of the files by issuing a temporary injunction. When the case went to the Supreme Court, the judgment came down in favor of the Times. 

Happy Birthday to you, Supreme Court!

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