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Constitutional Law

2010

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Deana A Pollard

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Snyder V. Phelps & The Supreme Court's Speech-Tort Jurisprudence: A Prediction, Deana Ann Pollard Sacks Oct 2010

Snyder V. Phelps & The Supreme Court's Speech-Tort Jurisprudence: A Prediction, Deana Ann Pollard Sacks

Deana A Pollard

In Snyder v. Phelps, members of the Westboro Baptist Church targeted a young marine’s untimely death to exemplify their hate-filled message to the world that “God Hates Fags” and retaliates against America for tolerating homosexuality by killing American soldiers. A jury awarded the marine’s father $10.9 million for invasion of privacy and emotional distress after the church members disseminated extremely hateful and personalized attacks against the fallen marine’s family. The Supreme Court is reviewing the case to determine whether civil liability based on invasive, hate-filled, injurious speech violates the First Amendment. In New York Times v ...


Speech Torts, Deana Ann Pollard Sacks Mar 2010

Speech Torts, Deana Ann Pollard Sacks

Deana A Pollard

Tort liability for speech raises important concerns about federalism, self-government, and autonomy. The Supreme Court has resolved the free speech-tort law conflict in a number of cases by balancing the nature of the speech subject to tort liability against the nature of the state’s interest in imposing tort liability, then “constitutionalizing” the tort to meet First Amendment demands by raising the burden of proof to establish a prima facie case. The Supreme Court has repeatedly denied review of tort liability for speech based on a theory of negligence, and most lower courts have adopted a categorical approach to immunize ...


Negligent Speech Torts, Deana Pollard Sacks Jan 2010

Negligent Speech Torts, Deana Pollard Sacks

Deana A Pollard

Recent research on the effects of violent media on children has elevated longstanding controversy over civil liability for speech to a new level. NEGLIGENT SPEECH TORTS reviews and challenges prevailing negligent speech jurisprudence and proposes wholesale reform to the rules governing civil liability for unreasonably dangerous speech. The prevailing Brandenburg incitement test is inapposite as applied to modern dangerous speech cases and should be replaced by a “constitutionalized” negligence paradigm to reconcile First Amendment and tort policies. The Supreme Court has constitutionalized various other speech torts – such as defamation, privacy, and emotional torts – by raising their prima facie case evidentiary ...