a. Yes, to a large degree. Public officials and public figures
may not recover for the tort of IIMD because of articles like Hustler’s
unless these public officials or public figures show that the
publication contains a false statement of fact which was made with
“actual malice”—with knowledge that the statement was false or with
reckless disregard as to whether or not it was true. The caricature
in the ad parody of P cannot form the basis of an IIMD claim because
it was a parody and political parody should generally be protected
under the First Am. from libel and IIMD claims.
1. The Court here is basically applying the Sullivan standard to
2. Note that this test applies to public official
and figures, not to private citizens.
Private citizens would probably have a lower standard to prove IIMD.
b. The rationale for the strict standard above is that, even though
“false statements are valueless [and] interfere with the
truth-seeking function of the marketplace of ideas,” there must be
“breathing space” for publications or there will be a chilling effect
on their speech.
We have located some similar legal questions and legal question categories. Check out these challenging questions that askquestions about Supreme Court Cases and are similar to What was the decision of the majority in the case of Hustler?. Also, we have included a list of some of our more popular legal question categories. These categories are based on what everyone is asking and answering.