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Monday, January 24, 2022

Which parts of NYT v. Sullivan?

Sherry Colb writes about the cert petition in Coral Ridge Ministries, a series of defamation actions against the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling it a hate group. The petition, on which the Court called for a response, asks the Court to overrule New York Times or limit it to public officials and not public figures.

I have argued before that the talk of overruling NYT is non-specific to the point of inaccuracy. What do people want to eliminate--the actual malice requirement or the larger edifice created in later cases? Coral Ridge seems an inappropriate case for this issue, because this case should not fail on actual malice but because "hate group" is opinion based on subject criteria rather than a provable assertion of fact.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 24, 2022 at 01:13 PM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman | Permalink

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