People For the American Way

PFAW on Justice Thomas’ Libel Suits Comments: “Every American Has a Right to Criticize Public Figures”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2019

Contact: Derrick Crowe at People For the American Way

Email: dcrowe@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 512.516.5067

WASHINGTON, D.C.—People For the American Way (PFAW) today released the following statement from PFAW Vice President for Communications and Research Drew Courtney in response to comments by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggesting that the court should overturn The New York Times v. Sullivan, a landmark ruling on libel suits related to public officials.

“Every American has a right to criticize public figures under the First Amendment, and they have a right to do so without fear of being sued by wealthy power-holders who use the courts as a cudgel. Especially at a time when the press is under constant attack from politicians including the President of the United States, Justice Thomas’ radical proposal is deeply chilling.

“Libel laws should not be weapons wielded by elites against their critics under our Constitution. Thomas and Trump are wrong.”