In the "Pentagon Papers" case, a new Nixon-appointed trial judge, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Gurfein (later an appellate judge) famously wrote, ""The security of the Nation is not at the ramparts alone. Security also lies in the value of our free institutions. A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, an ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know." United States v. New York Times Co., 328 F. Supp. 324, 331 (S.D.N.Y. 1971). More here.
In 1983, at age 27, I was served with a million dollar bogus libel lawsuit by East Tennessee bail bondsmen and their corporation, stirred up by a sinful, criminal and corrupt drug-dealing Sheriff, DENNIS O. TROTTER, whom they had paid $10,633,50 in bribes.
I know first-hand what it's like to be sued for libel. New York Times v. Sullivan exists for a reason.
We not only defeated the scoundrels -- they ended up federally convicted federal felons thanks to some fifteen (15) deputies who told the truth.
After further litigation in federal court, Sheriff TROTTER and his c0-felons paid me (and not the other way around). More here.
Sheriff TROTTER once told me I was "the most dangerous reporter I ever met."
Whinier and possibly wickeder than TROTTER, showing contempt for First Amendment values, scoundrel Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS touts the "Free State of Florida?" Are you kidding me? This Mussolini-like TRUMP mini-me and his energumen arachnid apparatchiks and mindless minions have no shame, stomping on constitutional rights, trying to carve their initials in our Constitution while destroying human and civil rights to speak out against the powerful.
From Common Dreams/Truthout:
Free Speech Advocates Say Florida Bill Would Silence Elected Officials’ Critics
Gov. Ron DeSantis — to sue for defamation, a measure that critics decried as a blatant attack on the freedom of the press and free expression with potentially sweeping implications. laments that the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan has “foreclosed many meritorious defamation claims to the detriment of citizens of all walks of life” by placing such claims under the purview of the federal government and establishing a high standard of proof. , the high court held in the 1964 decision that “to sustain a claim of defamation or libel, the First Amendment requires that the plaintiff show that the defendant knew that a statement was false or was reckless in deciding to publish the information without investigating whether it was accurate.” purportedly aimed at spotlighting the “defamation practices” of legacy media outlets. While DeSantis has framed his campaign against defamation as an attempt to empower “everyday citizens” against false attacks, free speech advocates warned that, in reality, the governor and his right-wing allies in the Legislature are looking to silence criticism of elected officials like themselves. against free expression by the state GOP, specifically urges the U.S. Supreme Court to “reassess” Sullivan, an effort that media lawyer Matthew Schafer as “part of the right’s world war on individual rights, equality, and democracy.” (The Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the 1964 ruling last year.) drafted by DeSantis’ administration last year, outlines specific restrictions on who can and cannot be considered a “public figure” entitled to pursue defamation claims under the legislation. last week, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple cautioned that DeSantis’ attempts to target Sullivan could pose “a far greater threat to U.S. media” than former President Donald Trump’s ultimately empty pledge to “ ” libel laws.