prior restraint

noun

Definition of prior restraint

: governmental prohibition imposed on expression before the expression actually takes place

Examples of prior restraint in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even for the narrow categories of speech that aren’t protected, nearly all content blocking on social media goes against the first principle of free-speech jurisprudence—the ban on prior restraint, or censorship without judicial review. Vivek Ramaswamy, WSJ, 26 Apr. 2022 If Twitter were such a forum, almost all content blocking would be an impermissible prior restraint. Vivek Ramaswamy, WSJ, 26 Apr. 2022 The Supreme Court made that clear in the Pentagon Papers case, a landmark ruling against prior restraint blocking the publication of newsworthy journalism. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 The Supreme Court made that clear in the Pentagon Papers case, a landmark ruling against prior restraint blocking the publication of newsworthy journalism. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 The Supreme Court made that clear in the Pentagon Papers case, a landmark ruling against prior restraint blocking the publication of newsworthy journalism. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 The Times had not faced any prior restraint since 1971, when the Nixon administration unsuccessfully sought to block the publication of the Pentagon Papers detailing U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. Reuters, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Wood’s order amounts to prior restraint, the legal term generally used for when courts block a newspaper or other journalistic organization from publishing something. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 The Supreme Court made that clear in the Pentagon Papers case, a landmark ruling against prior restraint blocking the publication of newsworthy journalism. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prior restraint.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of prior restraint

1833, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for prior restraint

Time Traveler

The first known use of prior restraint was in 1833

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Dictionary Entries Near prior restraint

priority

prior restraint

priorship

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Statistics for prior restraint

Last Updated

14 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prior restraint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prior%20restraint. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for prior restraint

prior restraint

noun

Legal Definition of prior restraint

: 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 — compare censorship, freedom of speech

Note: 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.”

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