Originalism and defamation

Notes On Liberty

Today, Justice Clarence Thomas issued a solo opinion urging the Supreme Court to reconsider a hallmark case in First Amendment law–New York Times v. Sullivan. That case held that defamation claims brought by public figures had to meet a heightened standard of proof by showing “actual malice” by the alleged defamer. The basic premise is that muscular use of private defamation suits discourages criticism of public figures and thus clashes with First Amendment interests.

Justice Thomas’s primary complaint with this standard is that judges created it with a wave of the wand rather than a serious analysis of the original understanding of the First Amendment. He points out that the ratifiers of the Constitution gave no indication that they intended to abrogate the long-standing common law of libel that had existed in the colonies and England for centuries. For those who believe that the Constitution’s meaning should reflect…

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This entry was posted in applied price theory on by .

About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at https://utopiayouarestandinginit.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/why-call-my-blog-utopia-you-are-standing-in-it/

1 thought on “Originalism and defamation

  1. nottrampis

    perhaps Thomas should view the film on the basis of sex. Mind you his intellectual is not up there with Bader Ginsberg

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