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What is Near vs. Minnesota?

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Quick Answer

Near v. Minnesota was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that recognized the freedom of the press in 1931. In this case the court struck down a Minnesota state law that allowed government censorship, declaring it unconstitutional.

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Full Answer

In the 1920s, Jay Near published a sensationalist newspaper in Minneapolis devoted to exposing government corruption. He regularly criticized government officials. A Minnesota state law allowed local officials to abate the publication of this paper because it was defamatory and a public nuisance. The law was struck down because the Supreme Court believed it was a clear form of censorship. Arguments in favor of the censorship law say that it prevented journalists from publishing false and inaccurate information that could shape public opinion in a dangerous way.

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