• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court strengthened the power of newspapers by holding that states cannot require newspapers to grant a right of reply to political candidates they criticize.

Florida passed a right of reply statute requiring newspapers to grant equal space to political candidates whom the newspaper had criticized. The Miami Herald denied equal space to Pat Tornillo, a local teachers’ union leader, whom the paper had criticized twice editorially, and he sued. State courts upheld the right of reply law, but the Supreme Court struck it down as an infringement on the First Amendment freedom of the press. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger,Burger, Warren E.;Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo[Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo] in the unanimous opinion for the Court, wrote that choosing the content of a paper and determining how it portrayed public figures and issues was an exercise in editorial control and judgment, in which the government could not interfere without violating the constitutional guarantee of a free press. Justices William J. Brennan, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, and Byron R. White concurred.Reply, right ofPress, freedom of;Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo[Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo]Reply, right of

First Amendment

Garrison v. Louisiana

Libel

Prior restraint

Speech and press, freedom of

Time v. Hill

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