Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974), was a United States Supreme Court case that overturned a Florida state law requiring newspapers to allow equal space in their newspapers to political candidates in the case of a political editorial or endorsement content. The court held that while the statute does not "prevent [newspapers] from saying anything [they] wish" it "exacts a penalty on the basis of the content." Because newspapers are economically finite enterprises, "editors may conclude that the safe course is to avoid controversy," thereby chilling speech. Furthermore, the Court held the exercise of editorial judgment is a protected First Amendment activity. In effect, this ruling reaffirmed the constitutional principle of freedom of the press (detailed in the First Amendment) and prevented state governments from controlling the content of the press. This case illustrates the medium with the most Constitutional protection—newspapers—while Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC represents the medium with the least protection—broadcast, television, and radio.
Miami attorney Dan Paul, long-time attorney for the Miami Herald, was its chief lawyer in the case.