Wikileaks v. United States

This thursday, October 9th 2014 the final decision in the case Wikileaks vs. United States will be made.  This case deals with prior restraint and  because this information released from Wikileaks posed a threat to the citizens of the United States and it’s National Security it became a major issue.  Wikileaks differs from previous cases such as the 1970 Pentagon Papers, New York Times v. United States, in which materials from the Vietnam War were released.  The big difference is the timeliness in which this information was released.  In Wikileaks v. US the information was released during the war and posed an ongoing, present threat while the pentagon papers were released years after the war was over.  In New York Times v United States the court felt that prior restraint was not warranted, but does the timeliness of Wikileaks v. US affect how the court will decide this case?

There are two ways the case will be decided for Wikileaks v. United States; the court will side with the first amendment rights and protect freedom of speech and press (Wikileaks) or side with the protection of our national security (US).  If the court sides with Wikileaks they will be able to continue to release and publish classified government information but I believe they will try to restrict it as they did in the NYT v. US case, if they do win.  This could pose more threats to our national security and the citizens of the United States in the future.  On the other hand, if the United States wins the release of classified government information will stop and or be punished depending on the severity of the issue.  The safety of our citizens and national security will increase with no more information being released that can potentially harm us.   I’m excited to see the courts decision, for or against prior restraint?

Wikileaks V. United States case outline

This case started when Wikileaks started to publish classified U.S. government documents and have been giving this information to respected news sources.  While these documents have been released for some time now without punishment the release of this information can pose a immediate threat to our nations security.  While documents have been released in the past it doesn’t make it okay to keep doing this some believe, it should be illegal and should be frowned upon but is currently legal.  Wikileaks is still currently up and running.  The problem is people are split on the matter.  Some believe we should know these things while others believe the public should never see this information.  Media sources are also split making it a struggle for this information to not get published.

This is an extremely tough case to crack because technically they haven’t done anything illegal even though the government doesn’t like it.   The first amendment covers freedom of speech and press so everything they did was legal.  Citizens can say what they want without repercussion, except for some situations, but in this case it was acceptable.  Also under freedom of the press the news stations can produce whatever material they want as long as it doesn’t harm their citizens, which in this case it hasn’t.  My philosophy on the case is that as long as the Wikileaks and the news reporters spreading this information are not hurting the publics safety they can continue to release the documents.  I am a huge proponent of the first amendment and to me freedom of speech and the press are both very important to me.  As from my most famous case Roe V. Wade you know my strong stance on obliging by the first amendment rights.




Which First Amendment freedom could we live without?

While I believe all first amendment rights are extremely important and almost impossible for us to imagine living without, I think the freedom we could live the easiest without would definitely be the right to petition.  Freedoms of religion is a huge reason why the US is the melting pot.  We have always allowed people to practice whichever religion they desire.  This is extremely important to be able to practice your own religious beliefs because if not the government would be dictating what you believe in, which is not freedom.  The freedom of speech is another huge freedom people take for granted.  While we cant verbally threaten others, we have the right to voice our opinions in almost any situation without repercussions.  If we did not have freedom of speech our government would be running us, there would be no voice from the people and we would have no say in huge decisions that could alter our lives drastically.  The freedom of the press goes hand in hand with freedom of speech to me.  This is a way for people to voice their opinions, be heard, and to read about local and worldwide news or everything, not the government deciding what they people see.  The freedom of assembly isn’t seen as a huge freedom but when it is taken from you it is one of the worst things ever. For example, I am in a fraternity on campus and last year we got in trouble and were not allowed to assemble or congregate with more than six of us in a room for the year.  This dramatically hindered my lifestyle because I wasn’t even allowed to hang out with my best friends without getting in trouble.  I found myself, along with others feeling neglected and outcasted.  It was unfair and if this were to happen there would be chaos throughout the states.  While I do believe freedom of petition is an incredible freedom to have, I view it as the only possible freedom from the first amendment that we as people of the United State could live without.


Hello everyone, my name is Harry Blackmun.  I served on the United States Supreme Court for about 25 years.  I was born on November 12, 1908 in Nashville, Illinois.  You may know me as the 98th Supreme Court justice that I became on 1970.  I am popularly known for my landslide ruling in Roe vs. Wade, which protected women’s right to have an abortion.  While I was from a conservative background, I did tend to have some liberal rulings at times.

When I was younger my father was a store manager while my mother was a musician, which led me to a livelong love for music.  I also friended Warren Berger, the 15th US Chief Justice of the US as a young child in school.  I attended the University of Harvard, majoring in mathematics and graduated as summa cum laude in 1929.  I then decided to devote myself to Harvard Law School and graduated in 1932.  I started as an appeals-court clerkship in Minnesota then went on to teach at William Mitchell College of Law then went onto work for a private law firm.  I married my beautiful wife, Dorothy Clark in 1941 and we went on to have three daughters.

In 1950 I went onto follow my love for medicine and work for the Mayo Clinic for about a decade. I was appointed  by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  I held this position until 1970 when President Nixon was looking for someone to fill the Supreme Court spot that was vacant.  I thankfully enough was recommended by an old friend for the position, Warren Burger, and was sworn in on May 12, 1970.

The stance I take on the first amendment is that the government should take no stance on the separation of church and state.  The main case I am known for is the Roe vs. Wade case where I concluded that the government cannot restrict abortion rights for women.  While I received a lot of criticism for it, at the time i believed it was the correct decision to protect that choice for women, and I still stand by my decision.  The court case I will be reviewing at a later date is that of the Associated Press V. United States.