Does 'The Freedom of the Press' Include a Right to Anonymity? The Original Understanding
Robert G. Natelson
The Independence Institute; Montana Policy Institute
October 12, 2013
This Article examines legal and historical evidence to determine whether, as some have argued, the original legal force of the First Amendment’s "freedom of the press" included a per se right to anonymous authorship. The Article concludes that, except in cases in which the press had been abused, it did. Thus, from an originalist point of view, Supreme Court cases such as Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which upheld statutes requiring disclosure of donors to political advertising, were erroneously decided.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Keywords: constitution, constitutional law, citizens united, anonymous, anonymity, First Amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, press freedom, original understanding, original intent, original meaning, original public meaning, disclosure, political advertising, campaign finance, campaign spending
JEL Classification: K3, K29, K39working papers series
Date posted: September 30, 2013 ; Last revised: October 13, 2013
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