New York Times Co. v. Sullivan


The U.S. Supreme Court case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan revolutionized the law of libel, introducing a requirement for proof of “reckless disregard” for the truth of the statement in question. The case is considered key in the support of freedom of the press. In March of 1960, the New York Times featured an advertisement asking for donations to support the defense of Martin Luther King, Jr., with respect to his civil rights activities in Alabama. The actions of the Alabama police were described inacurately and in unflattering terms, leading the Montgomery public safety...

Image for: New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

William J. Brennan, Jr. (Library of Congress)

View Full Size