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Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch deplores the level of disinformation being fed to Americans these days. “It seems that publishing without investigation, fact-checking, or editing has become the optimal legal strategy,” Gorsuch wrote about the 21st century’s absolutely-anything-goes publishing environment.
His solution? To attack the Supreme Court precedent, 1964’s New York Times v. Sullivan, which protects the country’s media outlets — the very entities entrusted with battling Internet disinformation.
Gorsuch’s viewpoint on media law surfaced last week as he and Justice Clarence Thomas dissented from a Supreme Court decision not to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th’s Circuit’s decision in Shkelzen Berisha v. Guy Lawson et al. In that case, the son of the former prime minister of Albania sued over a 2015 book published by Simon & Schuster that “accused him of being involved in an elaborate arms-dealing scandal in the early 2000s.”