He’s in there now with his lawbooks finding out the law of libel.
—Take a what? says I. —Libel action, says he, for ten thousand pounds.
—Yes, says J. J., but the truth of a libel is no defence to an indictment for publishing it in the eyes of the law.
…than theft, highway robbery, cruelty to children and animals, obtaining money under false pretences, forgery, embezzlement, misappropriation of public money, betrayal of public trust, malingering, mayhem, corruption of minors, criminal libel, blackmail, contempt of court, arson, treason, felony, mutiny on the high seas, trespass, burglary, jailbreaking, practice of unnatural vice, desertion from armed forces in the field, perjury, poaching, usury, intelligence with the king’s…
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The newspaper was accused of libeling him
In a landmark ruling, New York Times v. Sullivan changed the standard for defamation and libel by requiring plaintiffs to prove malice—that is, evidence of actual knowledge on the part of the publisher that a statement is false.