It just seems to be a human trait to want to protect the speech of people with whom we agree. For the First Amendment, that is not good enough. So it is really important that we protect First Amendment rights of people no matter what side of the line they are on.
I would say that the Pentagon Papers case of 1971 - in which the government tried to block the The New York Times and The Washington Post that they obtained from a secret study of how we got involved in the war in Vietnam - that is probably the most important case.
I am really impressed by lawyers who write books and tell us that they never lost a case. Most lawyers who have never lost a case have not had enough hard cases. But there are very difficult cases out there.
It has something to do with the facts and the law and who the judges are. So I think lawyers sometimes exaggerate their role in winning and losing. Lawyers do have a role, and a major role, but they're not the only players in this game.
So sometimes the facts are good and sometimes the facts are bad, the important thing from the point of view of a principle as broad and important as freedom of speech is that the courts articulate and set forth in a very protective way what those principles are.
I still owe a duty of loyalty to my clients and former clients, so I cannot specify which clients I did not especially find congenial, but the cause was the same.
I mean the idea of this is that it's a good thing for the public to hear interviews like this and that there will be an inevitable amount of fewer interviews if people that the press talks to wind up thinking, well, it's not really a CBS correspondent.
I try to do that in this book without preaching - to try to do as you just said that you really have to defend the First Amendment rights of everybody.
I just had the sense that at least the books that I had read about law just didn't really have enough of that.
If the word gets out, if the perception exists that by speaking to a CBS journalist you are, therefore, inevitably, immediately speaking to the police, I don't think there's any doubt but that people won't talk. And, therefore, the public won't learn.
No other country in the world gives protection like that, but it is not absolute protection. People sometimes meet that high burden and win libel suits, and in those cases I think they ought to win.
There are some circumstances in which the First Amendment interest comes up against another interest that is really important and in which we have to make a decision in a particular case as to which is more important.
Were this not Texas, were there not a state where there were no protections at all and where the law was clear on that, I think CBS and Mary Mapes and Dan Rather and all of us had a very good chance of winning. So this is an ongoing battle about an issue of principle.
Here we have a situation where a defendant in a case agrees to an interview with Dan Rather. It happened to be not confidential. But it was an interview with Dan Rather.
I really try at least to come back and answer the question as to whether that was really the best way to do that and was I really thinking straight and how did my opponents behave and how did the judges behave was needed.
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