The Oberlin defamation case contrasted with the famous New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964. 2 of 2: @RichardAEpstein @HooverInst

Jun 30, 01:51 AM
Photo:  1836 (1830s)
Subjects
PublisherOberlin, O
Contributing LibraryUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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The Oberlin defamation case contrasted with the famous New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964.  2 of 2: @RichardAEpstein @HooverInst


https://www.hoover.org/research/race-madness-oberlin-college


The jury verdict in this case is instructive because it illustrates the massive transformation—all for the worse—in the civil rights movement over the past sixty years. When I was a college student, the Supreme Court waded into the law of defamation in a suit brought by L.B. Sullivan, an elected Commissioner of Montgomery County, Alabama, against the New York Times. The Times had published an advertisement—Heed their Rising Voices—which documented violent attacks on student groups in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Montgomery, Alabama, and elsewhere. The letter was signed by sixty-four leading civil rights leaders, all intent on exposing the systematic evils of segregation. They urged contributions to support the work of Dr. Martin Luther King. The statements about Montgomery talked about “truckloads of police armed with shot guns and tear-gas ringed the Alabama State College Campus.”  No mention was made of Sullivan by name or by his office. Nonetheless, he claimed that the advertisement defamed him personally, given that there were some factual inaccuracies in the account.