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Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (docket #: 86-1278) (1988)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Hustler Magazine v. Falwell  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 12/02/1987
Decided 2/24/1988
Supreme Court Vote 8-0
Note Norman Roy Grutman, the attorney for the Respondent, had previously served as a lawyer for Penthouse magazine when it had been sued by Rev. Falwell in another case. In a different case in 1984 involving Hustler, Flynt cursed the Justices in open Court.
IssueUnder the First Amendment, to what extent can a nationally known minister, who has been active as a commentator on politics and public affairs, sue a cartoonist and his publisher to recover damages for invasion of privacy, libel, and intentional infliction of emotional distress?
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Rehnquist, C.J. (Kennedy, J., not participating)
Concurring Opinion White, J. (concurring in the judgment)
Lower Court 4th Circuit
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
Oral Arguments Oral Arguments  [Oyez]
-- edited transcript in Irons, Peter, editor, MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT: THE FIRST AMENDMENT (1997), pp. 120-128
For Petitioner
Alan L. Isaacman

For Respondent
Norman Roy Grutman

For Amicus
Alexander Wellford, David C. Kohler, Rodney A. Smolla, William A. Niese, Jeffrey S. Klein, W. Terry Maguire, & Slade R. Metcalf for Richmond Newspapers, Inc.

Bruce Rich for Association of American Publishers, Inc.

Edward de Grazia for Law & Humanities Institute

Harriette K. Dorsen, John A. Powell, & Steven R. Shapiro for ACLU Foundation

Irwin Karp & I. Fred Koenigsberg for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Inc.

Jane E. Kirtley, Richard M. Schmidt, David Barr, & J. Laurent Scharff for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press et al.

P. Cameron DeVore & Daniel M. Waggoner for Home Box Office, Inc.

Roslyn A. Mazer & George Kaufmann for Association of American Editorial Cartoonists et al.

News Stories & Commentary
Editorial, "Outrageous Speech? Yes, and Free," New York Times, February 26, 1988, sect. A, p. 34
Jones, Alex S., "Double-Barrel Judgment; The Hustler Decision Bolsters Protections Of First Amendment and the Sullivan Rule," New York Times, February 25, 1988, sect. A, p. 22
Kamen, Al, "Court Bars Damages To Falwell; Public Figures' Obligation to Prove Libel Is Affirmed Supreme Court Rules Against Damages to Falwell," Washington Post, February 25, 1988, sect. A, p. 1
Taylor, Jr., Stuart, "Falwell Rebuffed: Rules to Protect Speech Extended in His Case Against Magazine Court, 8-0, Guards Right To Assail Public Figures," New York Times, February 25, 1988, sect. A, p. 22
Opinion - Lower Court
Falwell v. Flynt, 797 F.2d 1270 (4th Cir., 1986)
Falwell v. Flynt, 805 F.2d 484 (4th Cir., 1986)
Barron, Jerome, & Dienes, C. Thomas, THE FIRST AMENDMENT (2000), pp. 145-148
Brewer, Edward C., "Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell," in FREE SPEECH ON TRIAL (2003), Richard A. Parker, ed., pp. 264-280

Fein, Bruce, Book Review (of Smolla), "Hustler Magazine v. Falwell: A Mislitigated & Misreasoned Case," 30 William & Mary Law Review 905 (1989)
Kelley, M. J., "Falwell v. Flynt: An Emerging Threat to Freedom of Speech," 1987 Utah Law Review 703
Kirkpatrick, S., "Falwell v. Flynt: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress as a Threat to Free Speech," 81 Northwestern University Law Review 993 (1987)
Menand, Louis, "Lust in Action: Jerry Falwell and Larry Flint," in AMERICAN POLITICS (FSG, 2002), pp. 221-238
Post, Robert, "The Constitutional Concept of Public Discourse: Outrageous Opinion, Democratic Deliberation, & Hustler Magazine v. Falwell," 103 Harvard Law Review 603 (1990)
Smolla, Rod, "Emotional Distress & the First Amendment," 20 Arizona Law Journal 423 (1988)
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