Warren Court project

Warren Court project

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  • 1964
  • During the Civil Rights movement, New York Times write an article to defend Martin Luther King, Jr., after he had been arrested. The city Public Safety Commissioner, L.B. Sullivan, angry at the criticism of his officers, demanded Times remove the article.
  • When New York Times refused to remove the article, L.B. Sullivan took them to a state court, where the judge ruled in his favor, and awarded him 500,000$. But the Supreme Court stepped in.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that news publications could not be sued by public officials unless they were able to establish actual malice in the false reporting of a news story. The Court ruled for The Times, 9–0. The ruling of the Alabama courts was found unconstitutional for its failure to protect freedom of speech and of the press, as required by the 1st and 14th Amendment.
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