• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court made it clear that the government must show malice in order to obtain a constitutional criminal libel conviction.

Writing for the Supreme Court, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.,Brennan, William J., Jr.;Garrison v. Louisiana[Garrison v. Louisiana] unanimously reversed the criminal libel conviction of Louisiana attorney general Jim Garrison, a critic of the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy. Garrison had criticized eight Louisiana judges who in turn won a criminal libel conviction against him. The Court held that such a conviction for criticism of elected officials would have required a showing of actual malice or a reckless disregard for the truth in order to have been valid. Justices Arthur J. Goldberg, Hugo L. Black, and William O. Douglas concurred.Libel;Garrison v. Louisiana[Garrison v. Louisiana]

First Amendment

Gertz v. Robert Welch

Libel

Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co.

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

Prior restraint

Time v. Hill

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