New York Times v. Sullivan - California State University ...

New York Times v. Sullivan - California State University ...

New York Times v. Sullivan The background (social and judicial)-Alabama in 1960 Heed Their Rising Voices Sullivan sues for libel--wrong song, didnt ring the campus, didnt padlock the cafeteria, King only arrested 4X, not 7 Defendants--NYT and ministers, $500K Additional suits--Mayor of Montgomery, State of AL, why the strategy? NYT v. Sullivan continued

Sullivan in the District Court Impact on the ministers Sullivan wins at the Alabama S. Ct. as well, Ct. rejects any constitutional issues Why grant writ of certiorari? Jan. 1964, oral arguments, decision just 8 weeks later, 9-0 win for the New York Times The Decision in NYT

Brennan behind the scenes (Anthony Lewis, Make No Law) Libel can claim no talismanic immunity a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open Error is inevitablebreathing space Brennan seizes the opportunity to review the facts of the case and punish AL judiciary The Impact of NYT v. Sullivan

The federalization of libel law The establishment of the actual malice standard---knowingly making false statements, demonstrating a reckless disregard for the truth Black, Douglas concur; Douglas, Goldberg concur--malice is problematic Protect the media against suits by public officials

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