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Watson concludes that journalism practice is guided and defined by law and ethics. Journalists are most likely to follow an ethical principle when it is supported by the law and less likely if it is opposed or not supported by the law. The law at issue is virtually always the First Amendment. Because the Supreme Court has the final say on First Amendment issues, the Court has a powerful influence on the applied ethics of journalism. Watson analyzes Court rulings since 1947 that address journalism's primary ethical principles. He considers the implications of having jurists set the course of proper journalism practice, especially when unfettered journalism ethics require journalists to violate the law.