What did the Framers add to the U.S. Constitution that showed the importance they placed on a free press?

1 Answer
Dec 22, 2015

Actually the framers of the Constitution did nothing in the original document to show the importance of freedom of the press.


The basic document of the U.S. Constitution is the result of a compromise between northern and southern states. For example, northern politicians want a part of that document banning slavery. But to get anything passed required that 9 of the 13 colonies/states ratify it. The men at the Constitutional Convention realized that it was unlikely they would get the needed votes to make the Constitution law. Instead, they made the document entirely about how the government would be structured, the powers of the presidency and congress, how many and when senators and representatives would be elected, taxation, military, debt and other matters they all agreed necessarily had to be handled by a central government.

Once ratified and elections held and the government formed, many of those same men set about making amendments to the Constitution. Each amendment was specific to a particular notion of law they wanted enacted. In the case of freedom of the press, the first amendment addressed this issue. The importance of the issue can be drawn from the fact that it is the first amendment offered and passed. The Constitution states that any amendment must but approved by 2/3 of the states and of Congress.