(RepublicanInformer.com)- Last Friday, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case that challenged the existing libel protections in place for journalists, but two conservative justices challenged the decision.
Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas suggested that the ruling should be overhauled, suggesting that journalists should not have the protections they currently do as it often results in mistruths being printed or stated.
The two justices referenced the modern media environment, which is drastically different than it was in 1964, when a ruling was made that made it difficult for public figures, celebrities, and politicians to sue members of the press for making statements they consider to be inaccurate.
The hearing that the court refused to hear last week was an appeal from Shkelzen Berisha, who is the son of a former Prime Minister of Albania. Berisha had filed a defamation suit against an author, Guy Lawson, over a book he published in 2015. The book, “Arms and the Dudes,” was then turned into a movie in 2016 called “War Dogs.” You may remember the movie – it featured Miles Teller and Jonah Hill.
You can see it in the clip below:
It followed a lower court ruling that favored Lawson and his publisher, citing how Berisha wasn’t able to prove that allegations made against him relating to arms dealing were “actual malice,” given that they were reported in a journalistic way. This is the standard that was set in the New York Times v. Sullivan case from 1964.
Justices Thomas and Gorsuch argued that the Supreme Court should have taken the case as “actual malice” protects the promotion of disinformation in the media, and said that lies impose “real harm” even when made against public people.
Sadly, though, it will take another similar case and for the rest of the bench to change their mind for this to be changed.