The Burger Court (1969–86)

First Amendment

What alternatives did the Court say that trial judges must consider before issuing a gag order on the press?

Chief Justice Warren Burger said trial judges should consider the following alternatives: a change of trial venue (location of the trial), postponement of the trial, intensive questioning of prospective jurors, clear and emphatic jury instructions, and sequestration (segregation) of the jurors. Burger also wrote that “trial courts in appropriate cases may limit what the contending lawyers, the police and witnesses may say to anyone.”


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