United States Media Law Update
20 Media & Arts L. Rev. 461 (2016)
10 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2016 Last revised: 7 May 2016
Date Written: 2016
In June 2015 the United States Supreme Court completed what was hailed as its most ‘liberal term of the ages’, issuing major decisions on controversial issues, such as same-sex marriage, affirmative action and the Affordable Care Act. The Court’s free press jurisprudence, however, remained largely unchanged after its last term. The Court did not decide any significant press cases. Instead, the Court sidestepped the opportunity to resolve important questions about the constitutional limits on the prosecution of threats made via social media in one notable case, and set a new, more speech-protective standard for determining when a law is content-based and thus subject to the highest level of constitutional scrutiny. Meanwhile, lower courts began addressing other important topics ranging from the surveillance practices of the Department of Justice to the proper balance between privacy interests and the free flow of public information.
Keywords: media law, social media, free speech, content-based speech, surveillance, privacy, net neutrality
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