Two Supreme Court justices want fresh look at Times v. Sullivan

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch recently expressed his support for Justice Clarence Thomas for reining in the landmark 1964 ruling New York Times v. Sullivan that protects the news media in libel suits brought by public officials. Under the standard set by the ruling, it must be established that the alleged libel was made with “actual malice” or made with knowledge of the falsity of the statements. Gorsuch argued that with the proliferation of news purveyors, falsehoods are legion and should be capped. (The New York Times, July 2, 2021, by Adam Liptak)

Thomas argued that Times v. Sullivan had no footing in the Constitution yet his rulings concerning free speech were inconsistent with that view. But Gorsuch quoted fellow Justice Elena Kagan article when she was a law professor about the drawbacks of Times v. Sullivan raising the possibility that the Court could undertake a review of the ruling given the new news media landscape. (Bloomberg News, July 7, 2021, by Noah Feldman)

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