prior restraint

noun

Definition of prior restraint

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

First Known Use of prior restraint

1833


Law Dictionary

prior restraint

noun

Legal Definition of prior restraint

  1. :  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

Additional Notes on prior restraint

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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