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Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo

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Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.418 U.S. 241, 94 S. Ct. 2831, 41 L. Ed. 2d 730, 1 Med. L. Rptr. 1898 (1974)

Brief Fact Summary. The Appellee, Tornillo (Appellee), brought suit seeking to force the Appellant, Miami Herald Publishing Co. (Appellant), to print a reply to an article, published by the Appellant, which was critical of Appellee’s candidacy for the Florida House of Representatives. The Appellee based his contentions on a Florida Statute, which granted him the right of reply.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A newspaper cannot be compelled to print a reply to its articles, which would necessarily be an abrogation of it’s own freedom of speech.


Facts. The Appellee, a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives brought suit, based on Florida’s “right of reply”ť statute against the Appellant. The Appellant countered, seeking a declaration that the “right of reply”ť statute was unconstitutional as it abrogated the newspaper’s freedom of the press. The Florida Supreme Court held the statute to be constitutionally valid and the Appellant appealed to the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court).

Issue. The issue presented in this case is whether a “right of reply”ť statute is valid, which it creates duties in abrogation of a newspaper’s rights.
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