Definition - What does Prior Restraint mean?
Prior restraint is when the government acts to suppress or withhold speech before something is reported by the press. This is a part of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the US. It allows for the government to decide whether something can be heard at that time or in that method. This is done when something should stay private,such as a fact in a case that has a personal nature. This is the court's ability to stop a journalist from publishing such materials.
Justipedia explains Prior Restraint
Sometimes the materials that are suppressed are only done so for a limited amount of time. An example would be information before a criminal court conviction. During a case, every defendant has the right to a fair trial and to remain innocent until proven guilty through court judgment. When a fact comes out that makes the outcome obvious it has to be withheld from the public in case the jury hears about and in case the person is found not guilty by some other reason.