Politics: I bet he was so proud of this article showing how John Roberts was hostile to the press, then came this correction.
|Judge John G. Roberts Jr., nominated to be chief justice of the United States, was not the author of an unsigned memorandum on libel law that was the focus of an article published in The New York Times yesterday. The Times erroneously attributed it to him.
Bruce Fein, a Washington lawyer who was general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission in the Reagan administration, said yesterday that he wrote the memorandum, a caustic critique of New York Times v. Sullivan, the 1964 Supreme Court decision that revolutionized American libel law, and of the role played by the press in society.
The Fein memorandum, which is undated, was in papers from Judge Roberts's years as a lawyer in the Reagan administration.
Those papers also included another memorandum, signed by Judge Roberts, that briefly described his own critical views on the Sullivan case. In that memorandum, dated Aug. 28, 1985, Mr. Roberts offered what he called "my own personal view" on the proper balance between the interests of libel plaintiffs and the interests of the press. He said he would favor relaxing the standards established by the Sullivan case, which gave the press increased protection from libel suits brought by public officials, in exchange for eliminating punitive damages, which can often account for the bulk of libel awards.
Three people quoted in the article discussed the Fein memorandum, provided to them by a reporter, on the assumption that it had been written by Judge Roberts. |
Those three people are going to be hostile to the press after this.