The 1964 Times v. Sullivan Supreme Court decision said if you’re a public figure defamed by a newspaper, you have to prove “actual malice” to win a lawsuit against it. That means proving “reckless disregard for the truth” — a high bar rarely achieved in court. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Senior Judge Judge Laurence Silberman now says it should be easier to sue the media. Silberman says the Supreme Court made up the “actual malice” standard out of whole cloth, overturning centuries of common law jurisprudence.
Reconsidering Times v. Sullivan: An Influential Judge Says the ‘Actual Malice’ Standard Needs Revision
[The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2021]
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