prior restraint

noun
Updated on: 8 Jan 2018

Definition of prior restraint

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

Recent Examples of prior restraint from the Web

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First Known Use of prior restraint

1833


Law Dictionary

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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