RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 711959938 LA English T1 New York Times v. Sullivan : civil rights, libel law, and the free press A1 Hall, Kermit L.,, Urofsky, Melvin I., PB University Press of Kansas PP Lawrence, Kan. YR 2011 SN 9780700618026 0700618023 9780700618033 0700618031 AB When the New York Times published an advertisement that accused Alabama officials of willfully abusing civil rights activists, Montgomery police commissioner Lester Sullivan filed suit for defamation. Alabama courts, citing factual errors in the ad, ordered the Times to pay half a million dollars in damages. The Times appealed to the Supreme Court, which had previously deferred to the states on libel issues. The justices, recognizing that Alabama's application of libel law threatened both the nation's free press and equal rights for African Americans, unanimously sided with the Times. The decision introduced a new First Amendment test: a public official cannot recover damages for libel unless he proves that the statement was made with the knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false.-Publisher description.