Kaen asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

What are the facts that the justices used to construct their opinion in the NYT v. Sullivan case?

U.S. Supreme Court Case

New York Times Company v. Sullivan (1964)

- Which facts did the justices use to construct their opinion?

- Which facts did the majority ignore or not emphasize as much?

- Did the parties in a case represent people or institutions with real interests?

- Impacts?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "At issue was the protection given press criticism of the official conduct of public officials. In overturning the lower court's ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that First Amendment protection of free speech is not dependent on the truth, popularity, or usefulness of the expressed ideas. The decision held that debate on public issues would be inhibited if public officials could recover for honest error that produced false defamatory statements about their official conduct. The court limited the right of recovery to public officials who could prove actual malice (i.e., that the newspaper knew the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of the truth). By emphasizing that First Amendment protection applies to state court cases, the decision eased the way for news organizations covering the civil-rights movement in the South."

    At the second linkie you can retrieve the whole argument on audio and read what the Justices decided.

    I would say one impact is the steady decline that followed in reporting the truth. If journalists could not be held accountable then management could use that as a cost saving feature...just get the scoop and print a retraction after the fact. It was a very bad decision in hind sight,because now we have faux news and bloviating political hacks who get away with out right lies. And many Americans think these "journalist" personalities are experts when in fact all they are are lying liars.

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