Justices Deny Bid Over Defamation’s Actual Malice Standard (1)

Oct. 10, 2023, 1:40 PM UTCUpdated: Oct. 10, 2023, 2:08 PM UTC

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

Senior Reporter

The US Supreme Court rejected a petition to reconsider the high bar of actual malice those suing newspapers, television networks, and other media outlets must clear to prove defamation in libel suits.

The potential blockbuster denied on Tuesday threatened legal protections under the landmark decision in New York Times Company v. Sullivan that journalists say are essential for holding government officials and others considered public figures accountable for their actions.

The case involves one-time coal executive and former US Senate candidate Don Blankenship, who sued NBCUniversal, Fox News, and other media groups for “derailing” his Senate campaign by claiming he …

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