Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


In Images of Free Press, 1991 University of Chicago Press, Dean Lee C. Bolinger, presents what Floyd Abrams has called a "subtley reasoned and powerfully argued attack on much of the received wisdom about First Amendment theory and law." In this excert, Bollinger considers the principle of press autonomy initiated by the country's seminal libel case, New York Times v. Sullivan. The case was brought by L. B. Sullivan, an elected commissioner of Montgomer, Alabama, who while unnamed in the challenged articles, said his reputation had been damaged by published errors. The Court found for the New York Times. Bollinger argues that while press autonomy created by Sullivan and its sequels may be the best system available, much more thought needs to be given to weighing the risks and costs of the present system.