The Nation: Toward the Legal Showdown

AFTER a fortnight of legal fencing, the showdown shaped up late last week before the U.S. Supreme Court. A Government bent on preserving secrets for the sake of national security faced a press determined to print the facts as laid down in the now-celebrated Pentagon papers. All week long, the Government fought a running battle with restraining orders against two of the country's most respected newspapers. Attorneys for the New York Times and the Washington Post pounded away at the seldom-invoked practice of "prior restraint," arguing that the public's right to know and...

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