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Original: Dworkin. A Matter of Principle. p. 385 Top.
First Sighted: Legal Writing in Plain English (2nd edn, 2013). p. 85 Top.

  But there is not much attempt at analysis of the philosophical grounds of free speech or freedom of the press, or much effort to find the limits of the freedoms and powers Hentoff wants to defend. In this respect he is typical of journalists who complain about the fate of the First Amendment in the courts, though he writes better and with more enthusiasm and knowledge than most. The press takes the Amendment as a kind of private charter [bold mine], and attacks more or less automatically every refusal of the courts to find some further protection in that charter. The newspapers and networks de- nounced the decisions in the Farber and Herbert cases as fiercely—indeed even more fiercely—than those in the cases of The Progressive and Snepp.

  1. Am I correct that charter signifies the following?

A written grant by the sovereign or legislative power of a country, by which a body such as a borough, company, or university is created or its rights and privileges defined.

  1. I don't understand why the press'd regard it so, when they have in-house lawyers who'd disadvise them so?
  • "First slighted"? Also, definition 1.2 from your last link says "with modifier (in the UK) a written statement of the rights of a specified group of people". The First Amendment is a statement of a right of a group of people, so in that sense it could be considered a charter. – JAB Mar 22 '18 at 15:32
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  1. Am I correct that charter signifies the following?

Yes

  1. I don't understand why the press'd regard it so, when they have in-house lawyers who'd disadvise them so?

This is a literary technique: the author and the press know it isn't a private charter but the press would like it to be one and that it should be interpreted in such a way that it enables them to do what they want it to do. The press are lobbying for their interpretation - not the actual interpretation.

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