Landmark Communications, Inc. v. Virginia

PETITIONER: Landmark Communications Inc.
RESPONDENT: Virginia
LOCATION: Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission

DOCKET NO.: 76-1450
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of Virginia

CITATION: 435 US 829 (1978)
ARGUED: Jan 11, 1978
DECIDED: May 01, 1978

ADVOCATES:
Floyd Abrams - argued the cause for the appellant
James E. Kulp - argued the cause for the appellee

Facts of the case

A Landmark Communications newspaper, The Virginian Pilot, published an article regarding the Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission's investigation into a state judge. The article, which was accurate, violated a Virginia law that prohibited the release of information from Commission hearings. Landmark was indicted by a grand jury, had its motion to dismiss denied by the trial court, convicted without a jury trial and fined. The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed Landmark's conviction.

Question

Did the criminal punishment of Landmark for disclosing information from the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission's hearing violate the First Amendment?

Media for Landmark Communications, Inc. v. Virginia

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 11, 1978 in Landmark Communications, Inc. v. Virginia

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 01, 1978 in Landmark Communications, Inc. v. Virginia

Warren E. Burger:

I have the judgment and opinion of the court to announce in Landmark Communications Inc. against The State of Virginia and for reasons stated in an opinion filed, an opinion of the court filed with the clerk this morning, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Virginia is reversed and the case is remanded to that court for further proceedings, not inconsistent with our opinion.

Mr. Justice Stewart filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, Mr. Justice Brennan and Mr. Justice Powell took no part in either the consideration or the decision of the case.