Gertz is an expansion of the first amendment generally in that private plaintiffs not involved in an area of public concern can no longer rely on the advantage of strict liability and presumed damages; it is a limitation of the privilege as applied by Times because private plaintiffs are relieved of the burden of proving constitutional malice. By overturning Rosenbloom and limiting the common law advantage that plaintiffs have in defamation actions, the Supreme Court has created a new type of constitutional privilege applicable to private plaintiffs. This comment will examine the cases leading up to Gertz and explore how the new privilege will work against the Times rule to change the law of defamation.
The Law of Libel--Constitutional Privilege and the Private Individual: Round Two--Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol12/iss2/15