The Nation: The Legal Battle Over Censorship

THE confrontation was historic. For the first time in U.S. history, the Government had gone to court to suppress publication of a major article in a major newspaper. In so doing, the Nixon Administration revived that ancient antithesis of a free press, the long discredited practice of "prior restraint." For its part, the Government claimed that never before had a newspaper published top-secret information that would endanger the national interest.

The drama began last Monday night after the New York Times had already published two installments of...

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