Why this is a landmark case

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Why this is a landmark case

Post  Paul on Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:40 pm

Actual Malice vs. Intentional Malice

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Times over Sullivan, who sued the Times believing he was defamed in one of their reports concerning the police force he controlled and its interaction with Martin Luther King and other protesters. Evil or Very Mad

The Court ruled that if someone was to sue for defamation, evidence must be presented that showed clear Actual Malice, as opposed to hinting at an association with an event or action to someone, as was the case here. The Times did not specifically accuse Sullivan of wrongdoing or defame him, rather he claimed that on the basis of their attacking of the Police Department, they were assaulting him. Question The Court refferred to this association as "Intentional Malice", which may not be backed up by evidence. Suspect Sullivan sued on the basis of the Times having Intentional Malice in their articles towards him.

The Constitutional Significance of this case is that the Supreme Court adopted the term "Actual Malice" to be evidence that a party clearly attacks an individual and this is backed up by solid proof; not just association.

Sources;
http://oyez.com/cases/1960-1969/1963/1963_39
http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/free_speech/nytvsullivan.html

Paul
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