The Supreme Court declined to hear a case requesting the reconsideration of the “actual malice” standard as applied to public officials in media defamation cases.
An excerpt from Samantha Barbas' recently published book "Actual Malice: Civil Rights and Freedom of the Press in New York Times v. Sullivan."
On February 15th, a jury in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by Sarah Palin, a former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate in 2008, against The New York Times. The decision came a day before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said that he planned to dismiss the suit if the jury sided with Palin. Rakoff maintained that Palin’s lawyers were unable to prove the newspaper published with “actual malice” when it incorrectly linked her to a mass shooting in a Times editorial.
Dr. Luke is suing pop star Kesha over claims she made that he raped both her and singer Katy Perry. Free expression groups have argued that courts should interpret the public figure doctrine more broadly in libel suits involving sexual assault claims.
Fox’s lawyers argue that they had a First Amendment privilege to report newsworthy allegations–even false ones–in a neutral way. They also claim that Smartmatic failed to establish a key requirement of a defamation claim—that Piro, Dobbs, and Bartiromo acted with “actual malice.”
The judge is asking the family to submit a new complaint based only on whether the family's dairy farm knowingly hired undocumented workers. The new complaint will also have to contain a new argument showing actual malice.
In reviewing the case, the North Carolina Supreme Court found that the reporter had omitted important information and mispresented quotes from sources. This, along with other evidence, led the court to conclude that article's false statements had not resulted from "mere negligence" but from a "purposeful avoidance of the truth."
N&O reporter Mandy Locke is facing a defamation lawsuit over a series of articles in which she appeared to question the judgement of a State Bureau of Investigation agent. The case was heard in North Carolina's Supreme Court on Monday.