cross-referenced news and research resources about

 Hustler Magazine V. Falwell

The freedom to speak one's mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty -- and thus a good unto itself -- but also is essential to the common quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole.... The First Amendment recognized no such thing as a "false" idea. As Justice Holmes wrote, "when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas....

[Falwell] argued, however, that a different standard should apply in this case [than in a traditional libel case] because here the State seeks to prevent not reputational damage, but the severe emotional distress suffered by the person who is the subject of an offensive publication. ...In [Falwell's] view..., so long as the utterance was intended to inflict emotional distress, was outrageous, and did in fact inflict serious emotional distress, it is of no constitutional import whether the statement was a fact or an opinion or whether it was true or false. It is the intent to cause injury that is the gravamen of the tort, and the State's interest in preventing emotional harm simply outweighs whatever interest a speaker may have in speech of this type.



Garrison v. Louisiana
, 379 U.S. 64 (1964), we held that even when a speaker or writer is motivated by hatred or ill-will, his expression was protected by the First Amendment....

Were we to hold otherwise, there can be little doubt that political cartoonists and satirists would be subjected to damages awards without any showing that their work falsely defamed its subject..... The appeal of the political cartoon or caricature is often based on exploitation of unfortunate physical traits or politically embarrassing events -- an exploitation often calculated to injure the feelings of the subject of the portrayal. The art of the cartoonist is often not reasoned or evenhanded, but slashing and one-sided....(


As we stated in

FCC v. Pacifica Foundation
, 438 U.S. 726 (1978):

The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker's opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas.

(Chief Justice Rehnquist, Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. at 50-1). logo
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updated Sun. July 10, 2022

In a 1988 case, “Hustler” Magazine v. Falwell, where a piece in the magazine stated that evangelist Jerry Falwell had drunken sex with his mother in an outhouse; the court ruled that damages could not be awarded for making false statements about public figures that could not reasonably be believed.

A 1988 case, “Hustler” Magazine v. Falwell, involved a piece in “Hustler” stating that evangelist Jerry Falwell had drunken sex with his mother in an outhouse. The court ruled that damages could not be awarded for making false statements about public figures that could not reasonably be believed.
Here in the United States, Larry Flynt, founder of the graphic and sexually explicit Hustler empire, has been at the center of the several obscenity court cases, the most famous being the one that went all the way to the Supreme Court, in the case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell. Yes, that Falwell — Rev.
In 1988, Flynt won his most notable case, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, a landmark decision in favor of free speech and establishing a precedent where public figures could not recover damages for "intentional infliction of emotional distress" based on parodies. Flynt's staunch support of the First Amendment ...
Asked to handicap the upcoming political throwdown between GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and the Democrats' inevitable pick, Hillary Clinton, porn titan Larry Flynt delivers a wry one-liner in that inimitable, gravelly voice of his: "Hillary could beat Trump from jail." Flynt, who'll turn 74 this fall, ...
In 1988, for example, the Court ruled in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell that Hustler had the right to publish a damning parody of the prominent fundamentalist minister Jerry Falwell, and that he could not collect damages for emotional harm. In his majority opinion, Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that ...
The 1988 case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, in which Flynt scored a unanimous victory before the U.S. Supreme Court protecting an ad parody that suggested Falwell lost his virginity with his mother in a fly-infested outhouse, is what makes programs ranging from The Daily Show to South Park possible.


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        supreme court
            hustler magazine v. falwell

US Supreme Court free speech decisions:
            aclu v. reno
            chaplinsky v. new hampshire
            cohen v. california
            cox v. louisiana
            elrod v. burns
            fcc v. pacifica foundation
            garrison v. louisiana
            gooding v. wilson
            hustler magazine v. falwell
            lebron v. national railroad
            martin v. city of struthers
            r.a.v. v. city of st. paul
            street v. new york
            terminiello v. chicago
            united states v. grace
            widmar v. vincent,