Uncommon Law: The Past, Present and Future of Libel in America

In February, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for a reexamination of New York Times v. Sullivan, the celebrated case that has provided robust First Amendment protection for false and defamatory speech about public officials for 55 years. He's not alone. Many wealthy and influential people would welcome more opportunities to sue and silence critics. Overseas, the Sullivan standard is sometimes considered American exceptionalism run amok, elevating irresponsible speech above the right to reputation. In a polarized nation awash with "fake news," bots, and brigading, is it time to reconsider New York Times v. Sullivan?

The 2019 Reynolds School of Journalism First Amendment Forum features Jane Kirtley, professor and director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota, a world-renowned expert, author and commentator on media law. She was executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press for 14 years and holds a law degree from Vanderbilt University and bachelor and master of journalism degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Reynolds School Assistant Professor of Media Law Patrick File will lead the discussion and audience Q&A.

This free public event is sponsored by the 1 for All program, the Lerude First Amendment Endowment, and KUNR.

If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this event, please contact Jessica Fagundes by April 16, 2019, at 775-784-4783 or by email at jfagundes@unr.edu.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Joe Crowley Student Union, JCSU Theatre
1500 North Virginia Street