New York Times vs Sullivan

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The court case of New York Times vs Sullivan was a case that involved public officials and how they were libeled in the press in the year of nineteen sixty four. L.B. Sullivan was one of three elected commissioners of Alabama. The respondent was L. B. Sullivan was a public official from Alabama and brought a lawsuit against an clergymen, a negro and against a petitioner of the New York Times Company. L.B. Sullivan sued all of these people because he felt that he was libeled in a advertisement of the New York Times. The case had to deal with if the constitutional protections of speech and press limit the states power to award damages for the libel action brought by a public official against the critics of his official conduct. The jury in Alabama agreed with Sullivan and found that the libelous action was in breach of Constitutional protections of speech and press. The jury in the circuit court awarded Sullivan five hundred thousand dollars in damages. This was the initial ruling against the New York Times who had lost. Sullivan had claimed he was libeled in the advertisement called Heed Their Rising Voices. In the libel action claim Sullivan the third paragraph in the advertisement read as follows “In Montgomery, Alabama, after students sang “My country tis of thee” on state capitol steps, their leaders were expelled from school and, truckloads of police armed with shotguns and tear gas ringed the Alabama State College Campus. When the entire student body protested by
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