New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)
This lesson focuses on the 1964 landmark freedom of the press case New York Times v. Sullivan. The Court held that the First Amendment protects newspapers even when they print false statements, as long as the newspapers did not act with "actual malice."
Freedom of Speech: General
How has the Freedom of Speech been interpreted by the Supreme Court? Explore these landmark cases to better understand this important constitutional right.
Why is Free Speech Essential to Self-Government?
America's Founders recognized the necessity of vigorous public debate and enshrined the right to speak freely in the Bill of Rights. This component of the Constitution protects a wide range of speech, including speech we might find disagreeable. While the First Amendment's primary purpose was to protect political speech, its protections do have limits. This lesson explores this essential principle of free speech.