Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Re-Evaluating New York Times v. Sullivan

Ronald A. Cass, Center for the Rule of Law, Cass & Associates, PC; Boston University School of Law, is publishing Weighing Constitutional Anchors: New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and the Misdirection of First Amendment Doctrine in volume 12 of the First Amendment Law Review (Winter 2014). Here is the abstract.

This essay explains why so many law professors, most notably Harry Kalven (my own First Amendment teacher at the University of Chicago) were excited by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (announced 50 years ago), why it was so widely embraced as a triumph for the soul of constitutional governance, and why ― despite its virtues ― the New York Times decision was a mistake in constitutional jurisprudence that set First Amendment doctrine down a path that threatened to undermine the very values Kalven embraced. It is an essay not about Harry Kalven, but about constitutional values, interpretive virtues, and unintended consequences.



Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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