Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2007


There can be little doubt that the institutional press is an interest group to be reckoned with in the Supreme Court, its aversion to such a designation notwithstanding. Over the past century, and especially since 1964, the press has secured for itself the greatest legal protection available anywhere in the world. While some of that protection has come from Congress, by far the greatest share has come from the Supreme Court's expansive interpretation of the First Amendment's Press Clause. Although the role of the press in American politics has been studied extensively for nearly two centuries, the role of the press as a powerful interest group has yet to be examined in full. This quantitative study examines 100 U.S. Supreme Court decisions in which the mainstream media was a party litigant or amicus curiae. Among other findings, the study demonstrates that the press has been extremely successful in cases involving content regulation, but far less so in cases involving news gathering.



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