The First Amendment reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As written, the 1st Amendment restriction covers Congress and not state legislatures. It also does not define the freedoms; instead, it restricts the federal government from abridging certain rights.
Some argue that this was a mistake and that the 14th Amendment extended protection of all these freedoms to state government. But the 14th Amendment makes no explicit mention of freedom of the press. Are there authoritative sources that hold that the 14th Amendment applies to freedom of the press? I'm thinking about things like court cases... Citations in any answers, please.
After evaluating historical quotes that suggest the wording of the 1st Amendment was no mere mistake, I ask the question. It seems probable the founding fathers expected the First Amendment to apply exclusively to the Federal government, particularly about freedom of the press.
"The States... retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated rather than the use be destroyed." --Thomas Jefferson: Draft of Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. ME 17:381
"The power to [restrain slander] is fully possessed by the several State Legislatures. It was reserved to them, and was denied to the General Government, by the Constitution, according to our construction of it. While we deny that Congress have a right to control the freedom of the press, we have ever asserted the right of the States, and their exclusive right, to do so. They have accordingly all of them made provisions for punishing slander which those who have time and inclination resort to for the vindication of their characters. In general, the state laws appear to have made the presses responsible for slander as far as is consistent with their useful freedom. In those states where they do not admit even the truth of allegations to protect the printer they have gone too far." --Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1804. ME 11:51