prior restraint
prior restraint n: governmental prohibition on expression (esp. by publication) before the expression actually takes place see also near v. minnesota and new york times co. v. united states in the important cases section compare censorship, freedom of speech
◇ In New York Times Co. v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court restated its position that “any system of prior restraints” bears “a heavy presumption against constitutional validity” and that the government “carries a heavy burden of showing justification for the imposition of such a restraint.”

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

prior restraint
n.
A restriction placed on a kind of free expression before it has actually been used, e.g., a prohibition placed on a certain kind of publication before anyone has created such a publication.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


prior restraint
Government action that prevents a publication or broadcast. Prior restraints are considered a violation of the First Amendment and are rarely permitted except in cases in which the publication is obscene, defamatory, or represents a clear and present danger — a theory articulated by the U. S. Supreme Court in Near v. Minnesota (1931).
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


prior restraint
n. An unconstitutional prohibition in advance of a publication or communication before such communication or publication occurred. Prior restraint violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, except in cases of obscenity, defamation, or its representing "a clear and present danger" (Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.), and even in such cases, it is rarely upheld.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


prior restraint
Government prohibition of speech in advance of publication.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


prior restraint
Government prohibition of speech in advance of publication.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

prior restraint
n.
   an attempt to prevent publication or broadcast of any statement, which is an unconstitutional restraint on free speech and free press (even in the guise of an anti-nuisance ordinance). Stemming from the First Amendment to the Constitution, the ban on prior restraint allows publication of libel, slander, obvious untruths, anti-government diatribes, racial and religious epithets, and almost any material, except if public security or public safety is endangered (false claim of poison in the reservoir or exhortation to commit a crime like a lynching) and some forms of pornography. The theory, articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Near v. Minnesota (1931) is that free speech and free press protections have priority, and lawsuits for libel and slander and prosecutions for criminal advocacy will curb the effect of defamation and untruths. Most other nations permit prior restraint by court order or police action when the material appears to be defamatory (hurtful lies), salacious (nasty), or "improper, mischievous, or illegal" (in the words of Sir William Blackstone).

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Prior restraint — is a legal term referring to a government s actions that prevent materials from being published. Censorship that requires a person to seek governmental permission in the form of a license or imprimatur before publishing anything constitutes prior …   Wikipedia

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  • prior restraint — noun : governmental prohibition on expression especially by publication before the expression actually takes place official prejudgment is actually a form of prior restraint F.H.Nuessell, Jr …   Useful english dictionary

  • prior restraint — pri′or restraint′ n. law a court order banning publication of unpublished material • Etymology: 1970–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • prior restraint — noun Date: 1951 governmental prohibition imposed on expression before the expression actually takes place …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • prior restraint — a court order banning publication of unpublished material. [1970 75] * * * …   Universalium

  • prior restraint — power to prevent something from being published or to require approval before publication (illegal in the USA because it violates the Freedom of the Press) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • restraint — re·straint /ri strānt/ n 1 a: an act or fact of restraining see also prior restraint b: the state of being restrained 2 a: a means of restraining b: a device that restricts movement (as of pri …   Law dictionary

  • Restraint — may refer to:* Physical restraint, the practice of rendering people helpless or keeping them in captivity by means such as handcuffs, ropes, straps, etc. ** Medical restraint, a subset of general physical restraint used for medical purposes *… …   Wikipedia

  • prior — pri·or / prī ər/ adj 1: earlier in time or order 2: taking precedence (as in importance) a prior lien Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

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