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First Amendment Library:
Robert L. Kleinpeter


The question presented by this case is whether the Louisiana Supreme Court, in sustaining a judgment for damages in a public official's defamation action, correctly interpreted and applied the rule of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254 (1964), that the plaintiff in such an action must prove that the defamatory publication "was made with `actual malice'—that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." 376 U. S., at 279-280.