Essay on Government Leaks And Freedom Of Information
AP Lang, Period 5
3 February 2016
Government Leaks and Freedom of Information
“Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people . . . to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” the First Amendment of the Constitution states. The First Amendment protects everyone, but specifically mentions “the press.” The Supreme Court generally merges freedom of speech with freedom of press grants the same rights to all. Due to this, the Court has allowed press access to criminal trials since trials are open to the public as well (Seng). But the press is denied special access to deportation proceedings, prisons and jails, and other facilities not generally open to the public, which renders “freedom of the press” meaningless since the press has no access to governmental information (Seng). The Supreme Court recognized in Grosjean v. American Press, that an “informed public opinion is the most potent of all restraints upon misgovernment” (Caplan). An effective democracy depends upon informed constituents of a nation, which can solely be achieved through freedom of information and government transparency. So, citizens cannot actively and efficiently participate in government and politics without being truly and rightly informed about their government.
Yet, every government, including the American government, operates secretly. Often secrecy is imposed for the supposed reason to protect…