All Amendments - Adrian Gil Block 2 Hustler Magazine v....

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Adrian Gil Block 2 Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988) – 1 st Amendment Summation of the facts: The two parties involved in this court case are Larry Flint, the producer of Hustler Magazine, and Jerry Falwell, an evangelical fundamentalist pastor/ political leader. What basically happened was that Hustler Magazine posted a cartoon of Jerry Falwell that Falwell took offense to. The magazine had and parody advertisement of an alcoholic drink where Falwell appeared saying that he had sexual intercourse with his mother. Hustler is a magazine that is known to have satirical cartoons of people. However, Falwell decided to sue under the accusations of causing emotional distress and invading his privacy. He managed to win in the lower courts and was to be paid a large sum of money by Hustler Magazine. Legal Issues: The legal issue in this court case was if Hustler Magazine was protected under the first amendment when posting the parody advertisement of Jerry Falwell. What the court had to decide on was what the first amendment covers when it gives people the freedom of speech, and also what Hustler Magazine was trying to do when they posted their satirical cartoon. Court Decision: In this case the court decided that Hustler Magazine’s first amendment was indeed being violated when they were forced to pay Jerry Falwell. So they sided with Hustler Magazine. i) For this case the vote was unanimously for Hustler Magazine. The justices involved were: Rehnquist, Brennan, White, Marshall, Blackmun, Stevens, O’Connor, and Scalia. Justice Kennedy was absent from the court case.
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Adrian Gil Block 2 ii) What the majority opinion said, written by Rehnquist, was that in this case the cartoon is protected under the first amendment. Some of the main points that the opinion stated were that unlike the New York Times case, in this situation the claims were not trying to be passed as facts. It was obvious that Hustler was just trying to be funny. It was also stated that Hustler did not have malicious intent when they posted the cartoon. And finally it made the point that when it comes to public figures, even if it is supposed to cause some emotional distress it is still protected by the first amendment because otherwise any political cartoonist can be sued for exaggerating physical traits or blunders. This however does not apply when it is not concerning public figures. Justice White wrote a concurring opinion that just states how Hustler sent out the cartoon a second time and how Falwell is a public figure. It was basically the same. iii) No, ideology had absolutely nothing to do with this court case. It was a unanimous vote. iv) I would not say that it changed the precedent set in the New York Times case simply because the opinion even stated that this situation was different. However, it did definitely set a precedent of what will be protected by the first amendment when it comes to the media printing things about public figures. As long as it is clear that it is satirical or not to be taken seriously, there is not much that can be done to make them keep their thoughts to themselves.
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All Amendments - Adrian Gil Block 2 Hustler Magazine v....

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