When The New York Times began publishing its series, President Richard Nixon became incensed. His words to National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger included "People have gotta be put to the torch for this sort of thing..." and "Let's get the son-of-a-bitch in jail."  After failing to get The New York Times to stop publishing, Attorney General John Mitchell and President Nixon obtained a federal court injunction that The New York Times cease publication of excerpts. The newspaper appealed and the case began working through the court system. On June 18, 1971, The Washington Post began publishing its own series. Ben Bagdikian , a Post editor, had obtained portions of the papers from Ellsberg. That day the Post received a call from the Assistant Attorney General, William Rehnquist , asking them to stop publishing. When the Post refused, the . Justice Department sought another injunction. The . District court judge refused, and the government appealed. On June 26, 1971, the . Supreme Court agreed to take both cases, merging them into New York Times Co. v. United States 403 US 713. On June 30, 1971, the Supreme Court held in a 6–3 decision that the injunctions were unconstitutional prior restraints and that the government had not met the burden of proof required. The justices wrote nine separate opinions, disagreeing on significant substantive issues. While it was generally seen as a victory for those who claim the First Amendment enshrines an absolute right to free speech , many felt it a lukewarm victory, offering little protection for future publishers when claims of national security were at stake.