New York Times Co. v Sullivan: The Alabama Case that Changed Libel Law

Malice aforethought? Can the New York Times be held libel for false claims appearing in its ads? The Supreme Court case New York Times v Sullivan changed the interpretation of the First Amendment. Class members examine these changes and consider how these changes influenced the civil rights movement.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Classroom Considerations

  • The activities presume class members have considerable experience analyzing primary source documents, as well as the reasoning behind Supreme Court decisions
Pros

  • The 10-page packet includes links to background information, required resources, and additional materials as well as step-by-step directions for the activity
Cons

  • Some class members may need additional scaffolding to make the connection between the court case and the impact on free speech