Supreme Court Urged To Revisit Libel 'Malice' In ESPN Row

By Max Jaeger (May 16, 2022, 6:11 PM EDT) -- A Michigan appellate judge implored the U.S. Supreme Court to untangle the "morass" of defamation law and rein in the "ever-expanding" and "nearly insurmountable" actual malice test, as the court revived a gymnastics coach's libel suit against ESPN.

Judge Mark T. Boonstra made the appeal in an opinion Thursday concurring with colleagues that former Central Michigan University women's gymnastics coach Jerry Reighard had raised triable issues about ESPN reporter Daniel Murphy's tweets falsely connecting him to convicted sex offender and former Michigan State University women's gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

The First Amendment offered no protection for defamatory speech until a 1964...

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