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Exam 1 Court Cases
Terms in this set (25)
Near v. Minnesota
(1931) Court held that a Minnesota law that imposed permanent injunctions against the publication of newspapers with "malicious, scandalous, and defamatory" content violated the 1st Amendment, as applied to the states by the 14th. Important precedent for NYT v. U.S.
Miami Herald v. Tornillo
(1974) Overturned a Florida state law requiring newspapers to allow equal access to political candidates in the case of a political editorial or endorsement content. (9-0)
Cohen v. California
(1971) "F*ck the draft." The 1st Amendment, as applied through the 14th, prohibits states from making the public display of a single four-letter expletive a criminal offense, without a more specific and compelling reason than a general tendency to disturb the peace. (5-4)
U.S. v. Stevens
(2010) Ruled that a federal statute criminalizing the commercial production, sale, or possession of depictions of cruelty to animals was an unconstitutional abridgment of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Said that statue must be revised to be less vague and specifically target "animal crush" videos. (8-1)
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
(1988) Held that speech can be regulated by the school if the school has a legitimate "pedagogical concern," after school removed articles about divorce and teen pregnancy from student newspaper. Started the limiting of students' speech in schools. (5-2)
Kincaid v. Gibson
(2001) University staff wasn't satisfied with yearbook, and did not let them be distributed. Students sued, courts originally ruled in favor of school, but after appeal, ruled in student's favor. Made clear that Hazelwood case should not be applied to college media. (10-3)
Hosty v. Carter
(2005) Students told to not publish school newspaper after approval from staff because contained editorials critical of administration. The court of appeals held that college newspapers could be subject to the same amount of school control allowed under Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier.
Morse v. Frederick
(2007) "Bong Hits for Jesus." Court extended control over school-sponsored speech to school-approved off-campus events.
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire
(1942) "Fighting words." A criminal conviction for causing a breach of the peace through the use of "fighting words" does not violate the Free Speech guarantee of the 1st Amendment. Established "tiered" concept of protected speech. (9-0)
Snyder v. Phelps
(2011) Westboro Baptist church has protested at over 600 funerals for soldiers because want to highlight sin of homosexuality and believe bad events are punishment for tolerance of homosexuality. Carried signs outside of funeral for Marine Lance Cpl. Snyder signs included "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "God Hates Fags" and "America Is Doomed." Court 8-1 their actions are protected public speech.
Simon & Schuster v. NY State Crime Victims Board
(1991) Case dealing with Son of Sam laws, which are state laws that prevent convicted criminals from publishing books about their crime for profit. Court held that The New York Son of Sam law violated the 1st Amendment.
NYT v. US
(1971) In response to Pentagon Papers during Vietnam War, court held that to exercise prior restraint, the Government must show sufficient evidence that the publication would cause a "grave and irreparable" danger. (6-3)
Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC
(1969) Court held that the 1st Amendment permits a federal agency to formulate rules to allow persons defamed or potentially defamed access to equal time to respond and a fairness standard for editorial speech by broadcast radio stations (radio airwaves as "public goods".) (8-0)
U.S. v. O'Brien
Court upheld a military draft law prohibition men from destroying or mutilating their draft cards, even when it was applied to a Vietnam war protestor who publicly burned his draft card. Law was content-neutral because it was adopted not to punish dissent but to allow the government to raise armies quickly and efficiently by requiring eligible meant to carry classification certificates.
Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co.
Court said that if a newspaper lawfully obtains truthful information about a matter of public significance then state officials may not constitutionally punish publication of that information, absent need to further state interest of the highest order.
Zeran v. America Online, Inc.
Exempts Internet providers from liability when third parties post libelous electronic messages.
NYT v. Sullivan
(1964) "Actual Malice" The 1st Amendment, as applied through the Fourteenth, protected a newspaper from being sued for libel in state court for making false defamatory statements about the official conduct of a public official, because the statements were not made with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth. Supreme Court of Alabama reversed and remanded.
"Strict liability" now unconstitutional. Case "constitutionalized" libel law. Court ruled that the robust political debate necessary in a democracy is inadequately protected by a common law that failed to require public officials to prove that defamation was false and published with fault. False statements must be protected and expression needs "breathing space" to flourish.
Gertz v. Welch
Private libel plaintiffs are not required to prove NYT actual malice. However, have to prove more than the fact that they were defamed. Still have to prove that a libelous publication was published with fault, but a lesser degree of fault than the malice that public figures and officials were required to prove. Ended strict liability of the press in private-person libel suits just as Sullivan ended strict liability in cases of public officials.
Hutchinson v. Proxmire
Hutchinson (scientist) - Receiving substantial federal funds does not make one a public figure.
Proxmire (senator) - Federal legislative privilege does not extend to written and spoken statements beyond the legislative process.
St. Amant v. Thompson
Plaintiffs can only establish "reckless disregard of the truth" if they can prove that defamatory statements were made with "high degree of awareness of their probable falsity." If you believe it to be true, you're not at fault.
Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. V. Connaughton
Court ruled that failure to investigate alone will not make actual malice, but purposeful avoidance of truth is a different category.
Curtis Publishing v. Butts
Public figures are those intimately involved in the resolution of important public questions or, by reason their fame, shape events in areas of concern to society at large.
If voluntary inject yourself in public sphere, you're a public figure.
AP v. Walker
If give every indictation of being trustworthy and competent, relying on reliable sources, etc. you should be OK. Also, errors might creep into a news story written under deadline pressure.
Philadelphia Newspaper v. Hepps
Private persons suing bear the responsibility of proving their versions of a case. Have to prove "falsity requirement" of case.
Richard Jewell v. AJC
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