Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130 (1967), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States established the standard of First Amendment protection against defamation claims brought by private individuals.
|Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts|
|Argued February 23, 1967|
Decided June 12, 1967
|Full case name||Curtis Publishing Company v. Wally Butts|
|Citations||388 U.S. 130 (more)|
|Prior history||Cert. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit|
|Subsequent history||No. 37, 351 F.2d 702, affirmed; No. 150, 393 S.W.2d 671, reversed and remanded|
|Libel damages may be recoverable against a news organization if the injured party is not a public official, but a claimant must demonstrate a reckless lack of professional standards, on the part of the organization, in examining allegations for reasonable credibility.|
|Plurality||Harlan, joined by Clark, Stewart, Fortas|
|Concur/dissent||Black, joined by Douglas|
|Concur/dissent||Brennan, joined by White|
|U.S. Const. amend. I|
The case involved a libel lawsuit filed by former Georgia Bulldogs football coach Wally Butts against the Saturday Evening Post. The lawsuit arose from an article in the magazine that alleged that Butts and Alabama head coach Bear Bryant had conspired to fix games. The Butts suit was consolidated with another case, Associated Press v. Walker, and the two cases were decided in one opinion.
In finding for Butts but against Walker, the Supreme Court gave some indications of when a "public figure" could sue for libel.
In a plurality opinion, written by Justice John Marshall Harlan II, the Court held that news organizations were protected from liability when printing allegations about public officials. However, the Supreme Court's New York Times Co. v. Sullivan decision (1964) lets them still be liable to public figures if the information that they disseminate is recklessly gathered and unchecked.
The Court ultimately ruled in favor of Butts, and the Saturday Evening Post was ordered to pay $3.06 million to Butts in damages, which was later reduced on appeal to $460,000.
The settlement was seen as a contributing factor in the demise of the venerable Saturday Evening Post and its parent corporation, the Curtis Publishing Company, two years later. Both Butts and Bryant had sued for $10 million each. Bryant settled for $300,000.
Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., 570 U.S. ___ (2013), was a United States Supreme Court decision in which the court ruled that conditions imposed on recipients of certain federal grants amounted to a restriction of freedom of speech and violated the First Amendment.Bob Jones University v. United States
Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the religion clauses of the First Amendment did not prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from revoking the tax exempt status of a religious university whose practices are contrary to a compelling government public policy, such as eradicating racial discrimination.Commercial speech
In law, commercial speech is speech or writing on behalf of a business with the intent of earning a profit. It is economic in nature and usually attempts to persuade consumers to purchase the business's product or service. The Supreme Court of the United States defines commercial speech as speech that "proposes a commercial transaction".FCC v. Pacifica Foundation
Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978), is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision that defined the power of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over indecent material as applied to broadcasting.Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.
Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States established the standard of First Amendment protection against defamation claims brought by private individuals. The Court held that, so long as they do not impose liability without fault, states are free to establish their own standards of liability for defamatory statements made about private individuals. However, the Court also ruled that if the state standard is lower than actual malice, the standard applying to public figures, then only actual damages may be awarded.
The consequence is that strict liability for defamation is unconstitutional in the United States; the plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant acted negligently or with an even higher level of mens rea. In many other common law countries, strict liability for defamation is still the rule.Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton
Harte-Hanks Communications Inc. v. Connaughton, 491 U.S. 657 (1989), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States supplied an additional journalistic behavior that constitutes actual malice as first discussed in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964). In the case, the Court held that departure from responsible reporting and unreasonable reporting conduct alone were not sufficient to award a public figure damages in a libel case. However, the Court also ruled that if reporters wrote with reckless disregard for the truth, which included ignoring obvious sources for their report, plaintiffs could be awarded compensatory damages on the grounds of actual malice.Jacobellis v. Ohio
Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964), was a United States Supreme Court decision handed down in 1964 involving whether the state of Ohio could, consistent with the First Amendment, ban the showing of the Louis Malle film The Lovers (Les Amants), which the state had deemed obscene.Keyishian v. Board of Regents
Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589 (1967), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that states cannot prohibit employees from being members of the Communist Party and that this law was overbroad and too vague.Lemon v. Kurtzman
Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), was a case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. The court ruled in an 8–1 decision that Pennsylvania's Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act (represented through David Kurtzman) from 1968 was unconstitutional, violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The act allowed the Superintendent of Public Schools to reimburse private schools (mostly Catholic) for the salaries of teachers who taught in these private schools, from public textbooks and with public instructional materials. The decision also upheld a decision of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, which had struck down the Rhode Island Salary Supplement Act providing state funds to supplement salaries at private elementary schools by 15%. As in Pennsylvania, most of these funds were spent on Catholic schools.List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 388
This is a list of all the United States Supreme Court cases from volume 388 of the United States Reports:
Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)
Washington v. Texas, 388 U.S. 14 (1967)
NLRB v. Great Dane Trailers, Inc., 388 U.S. 26 (1967)
Berger v. New York, 388 U.S. 41 (1967)
Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130 (1967)
NLRB v. Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 175 (1967)
United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1967)
Gilbert v. California, 388 U.S. 263 (1967)
Stovall v. Denno, 388 U.S. 293 (1967)
Walker v. Birmingham, 388 U.S. 307 (1967)
United States v. Sealy, Inc., 388 U.S. 350 (1967)
United States v. Arnold, Schwinn & Co., 388 U.S. 365 (1967)
Prima Paint Corp. v. Flood & Conklin Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 395 (1967)
Wisconsin v. Illinois, 388 U.S. 426 (1967)
Jacobs v. New York, 388 U.S. 431 (1967) (per curiam)
Tannenbaum v. New York, 388 U.S. 439 (1967) (per curiam)
Keney v. New York, 388 U.S. 440 (1967) (per curiam)
Friedman v. New York, 388 U.S. 441 (1967) (per curiam)
Ratner v. California, 388 U.S. 442 (1967) (per curiam)
Cobert v. New York, 388 U.S. 443 (1967) (per curiam)
Sheperd v. New York, 388 U.S. 444 (1967) (per curiam)
New York Central R. Co. v. United States, 388 U.S. 445 (1967) (per curiam)
Avansino v. New York, 388 U.S. 446 (1967) (per curiam)
Aday v. United States, 388 U.S. 447 (1967) (per curiam)
Corinth Publications, Inc. v. Wesberry, 388 U.S. 448 (1967) (per curiam)
Books, Inc. v. United States, 388 U.S. 449 (1967) (per curiam)
Rosenbloom v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 450 (1967) (per curiam)
Burkard v. New York, 388 U.S. 451 (1967) (per curiam)
A Quantity of Copies of Books v. Kansas, 388 U.S. 452 (1967) (per curiam)
Whitehouse Trucking, Inc. v. United States, 388 U.S. 453 (1967) (per curiam)
Mazes v. Ohio, 388 U.S. 453 (1967) (per curiam)
Schackman v. California, 388 U.S. 454 (1967) (per curiam)
Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen v. United States, 388 U.S. 455 (1967) (per curiam)
Landau v. Fording, 388 U.S. 456 (1967) (per curiam)
Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. v. Bureau of Revenue of N. M., 388 U.S. 457 (1967) (per curiam)
Lupton Mfg. Co. v. United States, 388 U.S. 457 (1967) (per curiam)
Canton Poultry, Inc. v. Conner, 388 U.S. 458 (1967) (per curiam)
Parks v. Simpson Timber Co., 388 U.S. 459 (1967) (per curiam)
Savio v. California, 388 U.S. 460 (1967) (per curiam)
Pierrel v. United States Court of Appeals for D. C. Circuit, 388 U.S. 460 (1967) (per curiam)
Sanchez v. Cox, 388 U.S. 461 (1967) (per curiam)
Balles v. New Jersey, 388 U.S. 461 (1967) (per curiam)
Stellas v. Esperdy, 388 U.S. 462 (1967) (per curiam)
Sandoval v. Utah, 388 U.S. 463 (1967) (per curiam)
Hadley v. Massachusetts, 388 U.S. 464 (1967) (per curiam)
Hemphill v. Illinois, 388 U.S. 465 (1967) (per curiam)
Fox v. Oregon, 388 U.S. 466 (1967) (per curiam)List of United States Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment
This is a list of cases that appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States involving the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.Lynch v. Donnelly
Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984), was a United States Supreme Court case challenging the legality of Christmas decorations on town property.New York v. Ferber
New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747 (1982), is a precedential decision given by the United States Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that the First Amendment right to free speech did not forbid states from banning the sale of material depicting children engaged in sexual activity, even if the material was not obscene.Osborne v. Ohio
Osborne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 103 (1990), is a U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the First Amendment allows states to outlaw the mere possession, as distinct from the distribution, of child pornography. In so doing, the Court extended the holding of New York v. Ferber, which had upheld laws banning the distribution of child pornography against a similar First Amendment challenge, and distinguished Stanley v. Georgia, which had struck down a Georgia law forbidding the possession of pornography by adults in their own homes. The Court also determined that the Ohio law at issue was not overbroad, relying on a narrowing interpretation of the law the Ohio Supreme Court had adopted in prior proceedings in the case. However, because it was unclear whether the State had proved all the elements of the crime, the Court ordered a new trial.Public figure
A public figure is a person such as a politician, celebrity, social media personality , or even business leader, who has a certain social position within a certain scope and a significant influence and so is often widely concerned by the public, can benefit enormously from society, and is closely related to public interests in society.In the context of defamation actions (libel and slander) as well as invasion of privacy, a public figure cannot succeed in a lawsuit on incorrect harmful statements in the United States unless there is proof that the writer or publisher acted with actual malice by knowing the falsity or by reckless disregard for the truth. The legal burden of proof in defamation actions is thus higher in the case of a public figure than in the case of an ordinary person.Roth v. United States
Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957), along with its companion case Alberts v. California (1957), was a landmark case before the United States Supreme Court which redefined the Constitutional test for determining what constitutes obscene material unprotected by the First Amendment.The Saturday Evening Post
The Saturday Evening Post is an American magazine, currently published six times a year. It was published weekly under this title from 1897 until 1963, then every two weeks until 1969. From the 1920s to the 1960s, it was one of the most widely circulated and influential magazines for the American middle class, with fiction, non-fiction, cartoons and features that reached millions of homes every week. The magazine declined in readership through the 1960s, and in 1969 The Saturday Evening Post folded for two years before being revived as a quarterly publication with an emphasis on medical articles in 1971.
The magazine was redesigned in 2013.United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc.
United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, 529 U.S. 803 (2000), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court struck down Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which required that cable television operators completely scramble or block channels that are "primarily dedicated to sexually-oriented programming" from 10 pm to 6 am.Yates v. United States
Yates v. United States, 354 U.S. 298 (1957), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that held that the First Amendment protected radical and reactionary speech, unless it posed a "clear and present danger."