Justices Decline to Reconsider Public Figure Defamation Standard

July 2, 2021, 1:44 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t reconsider heightened protections for those publishing false information about public figures, despite Justice Clarence Thomas’ 2019 invitation to challenge the so-called actual malice standard for defamation suits.

The actual malice standard was first announced in the court’s landmark 1964 ruling, New York Times v. Sullivan, which requires that those suing for defamation show not only that the information was false, but that the publisher knew—or didn’t care if—the information was false.

That standard first applied only to “public officials” but was later expanded to “public figures,” including those who are only temporarily in the ...

To read the full article log in.

Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription.