New York Times columnist Adam Liptak has penned a thoughtful column on the meaning of the First Amendment’s protection for freedom of “the press” and its application to corporations. Some critics of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United argue that the institutional press—unlike other corporations—enjoys special protection under the First Amendment, but as Liptak correctly notes
[T]he argument is weak. There is a little evidence that the drafters of the First Amendment meant to single out a set of businesses for special protection. Nor is there much support for that idea in the Supreme Court’s decisions, which have rejected the argument that the institutional press has rights beyond those of the other speakers.
There is a practical problem, too, especially in the Internet era. Who, after all, is “the press”? Anyone with a Twitter account?
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Chaim Gordon.