Portal:Freedom of speech/Selected article/25

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Milwaukee

United States v. The Progressive was a 1979 lawsuit against The Progressive magazine by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). A temporary injunction was granted against The Progressive to prevent the publication of an article by activist Howard Morland that purported to reveal the "secret" of the hydrogen bomb. The case was brought before Judge Robert W. Warren in the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Federal courthouse pictured). Though the information had been compiled from publicly available sources, the DOE claimed that it fell under the "born secret" clause of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Because of the sensitive nature of the information, two separate hearings were conducted, one in public, and the other in camera. The defendants would not accept security clearances, and so were not present at the in camera hearings. The article was eventually published after the government lawyers dropped their case during the appeals process, calling it moot after other information was independently published. Despite its indecisive conclusion, law students still study the case, which tested the limits of the presumption of unconstitutionality attached to prior restraints.