Common Constitutional Law


This essay deals with a branch of New York Times v. Sullivan which appeared to make the question of whether the words were libelous a federal issue. The line of cases ends with Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, which decides that the meaning of the words is not a federal issue, but cites approvingly all the prior cases, which do exactly that. The ambiguity of cases leaves unresolved the status of the rule which underlies New York Times, which is that judges, not juries, are to determine the facts in First Amendment cases.


Constitutional Law

Date of this Version

October 2004