Following his speaking engagement at the Manhattan private school Dalton, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s office insisted on reviewing an article by the school’s newspaper covering the event prior to it’s publication. The Daltonian was forced to replace the article with an editorial note in that weeks issue. “We are not able to cover the recent visit by a Supreme Court justice due to numerous publication constraints,” the note read.
Kathleen Arberg, the supreme court’s public information officer, told The New York Times that the Justice’s office had wanted to review the article to ensure it’s accuracy. After receiving the article she said his office sent it back with “a couple of minor tweaks” and “tidied up” quotes in order to better reflect the intention of the Justice behind his remarks.
Ellen Stein, the head of Dalton, defended Kennedy’s office saying that the review was justified. “This allows student publications to be correct,” she told the Times. “I think fact checking is a good thing.”
The Daltonian doesn’t have a website and was unable to be reached by Times reporters. It remains unclear whether their bylaws permit sources to review articles in which they’re quoted prior the piece’s publication.
The faculty adviser for the Daltonian said that even prior to the event the paper’s editors were under the impression that they would not be permitted to publish any article about the event without Kennedy’s approval.
The Times which was given a copy of the article said that it contained only a cursory summary of the topics discussed without any controversial comments from the Justice. According to Kristian Bailey, the reporter, Kennedy touched on the importance of the separation of powers, federalism, George Washington, and Isaac Newton.