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Professor examines media cases

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Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2005 7:01 am | Updated: 9:03 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

From the illegal swapping of music to journalists’ efforts to guard their sources’ identities, a range of First Amendment issues have been challenged over the last 40 years in the country’s highest court.

Those cases are the subject of a new book edited by an Arizona State University scholar.

"Defending the First," edited by associate professor Joseph Russomanno, features contributions by key litigators who have argued Fi rs t Amendment issues before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"This book contributes to an understanding of First Amendment issues and the types of expression that it protects, and why protection of these rights is important in a participatory, self-governing democracy," Russomanno wrote.

Some of the contributors include law experts such as Jerome Barron, a professor at George Washington University; Rodney Smolla, dean of the University of Richmond School of Law; and Marjorie Heins, founding director of the free expression policy project at New York University School of Law Brennan Center for Justice.

A few cases that contributors discuss include Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, in which a Florida law determining access to the media was ruled unconstitutional.

Another case discussed is Cohen v. Cowles Media Co., which held that any media organization pledging to keep a source’s identity secret has to keep its promise.

The book is published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

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