Supreme Court Justice Thomas Echoes Trump’s Call for Change in Media Accountability


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After being constantly attacked and unfairly portrayed as a villainous scoundrel by mainstream media since his campaign for presidency, Trump has called for libel laws to be loosened in order to hold the media responsible for their words.

Check out a few of the president’s tweets calling for change:

Recently, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has expressed similar sentiments as the president.

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Justice Thomas has called for a landmark libel case, New York Times v. Sullivan, to be reconsidered.

The case requires that a public figure pressing charges over libel claims must prove that a statement was made with "actual malice."

This "actual malice" is difficult to pin down and makes it extremely hard for public figures to actually win libel cases, which Justice Thomas says it is unconstitutional.

LaCorte News stated the following:

Thomas said that the New York Times v. Sullivan had no basis in the Constitution. Prior to the court's decision and after the First Amendment was ratified, suing for libel in civil actions was easier and such cases were, at the time, controlled by the states. Thomas said that the Supreme Court should not have meddled in it as the founders believed that federal law should not be used to override state common law. "Libel of a public official was deemed an offense 'most dangerous to the people, and deserv[ing of] punishment, because the people may be deceived and reject the best citizens to their great injury, and it may be to the loss of their liberties,'" he said.

"There appears to be little historical evidence suggesting that The New York Times actual-malice rule flows from the original understanding of the First or 14th Amendment."

CNN has more on the story:

"New York Times and the Court's decisions extending it were policy-driven decisions masquerading as constitutional law," Thomas wrote.

"If the Constitution does not require public figures to satisfy an actual-malice standard in state-law defamation suits, then neither should we," the opinion states.

He continued, saying "We did not begin meddling in this area until 1964, nearly 175 years after the First Amendment was ratified. The States are perfectly capable of striking an acceptable balance between encouraging robust public discourse and providing a meaningful remedy for reputational harm. We should reconsider our jurisprudence in this area."

His position echoes complaints of President Donald Trump, who has called for libel laws to be reconsidered in light of news stories about him, said CNN Supreme Court analyst and University of Texas School of Law professor Steve Vladeck.

"Since he was on the campaign trail, President Trump has complained about libel laws in the United States, and has argued that they should be rewritten," Vladeck said. "Justice Thomas's opinion today concurring in the denial of certiorari is a roadmap to exactly that result."

Now, it appears that California Congressman David Nunes has given the Supreme Court a chance to take action with his recent lawsuit against Twitter, Liz Mair, and two satire accounts.

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Check it out:

Watch Nunes explain why he is suing here:

It will definitely be interesting to see how this lawsuit goes and if it brings any progress towards Trump's wish for the media to be held accountable for what they say.

The press has gone too far on countless occasions, and we hope change is near.


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