Excerpted from the New York Times…
“In 1988, the United States Supreme Court, in an 8-0 ruling, broadly reaffirmed and extended its rules protecting criticism of public figures as free speech, even if the criticism is ”outrageous” and offensive.
The Court overturned a jury’s $200,000 award to the Rev. Jerry Falwell for ”emotional distress” over a Hustler magazine parody that portrayed him as an incestuous drunk.
The decision was written in sweeping language by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who has often taken a narrow view of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.
He said that ”graphic depictions and satirical cartoons have played a prominent role in public and political debate” throughout the nation’s history and that the First Amendment protects even ”vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks.”
Press groups and civil libertarians applauded the decision as a welcome protection for editorial cartoonists in particular and commentators in general.
The Court effectively shut off an effort to make it easier for public figures to muzzle criticism and satire.
Concern for freedom of speech has led the Court, in decisions beginning with New York Times Company v. Sullivan in 1964, to apply the ”actual malice” standard in suits by public officials and public figures seeking compensation for false statements that injure the plaintiff’s reputation. The decision today extends that standard to suits in which the injury alleged is not to reputation but to mental well-being.”
At HBSledgehammer.com, we vet everything that we publish.
Nothing false goes out.
We engage in satire and wide open criticism, of inept and unqualified public officials, in the public interest.
To those politicians that suffer from mental illnesses, such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Paranoia, and feel that any critical comment is “harassment”, Libel, slander etc…. I’ve got news for you.
Chief Justice Rehnquist held in 1988, that even ”speech that is patently offensive and is intended to inflict emotional injury” on public figures is protected by the First Amendment if it does not include false statements made without regard for whether they are false.
Don’t ever forget it. We don’t.
We are HBSledgehammer.com
And we stand in open defiance of anyone who would silence our voices.
Bring It on. We’re Ready….