Trump wants to 'open up' libel laws to sue media critics

Donald Trump told a crowd in Texas that he would "open up" libel laws to make it easier to sue critics who write "purposely negative and horrible, false articles."

The Hill:

"We're going to open up those libels laws," he added. "So that when The New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money."

"You see, with me, they're not protected, because I'm not like other people, but I'm not taking money. I'm not taking their money. We're going to open up libel laws, and we're going to have people sue you like you've never got sued before."

Currently, it's extremely difficult to successfully sue a media outlet for defamation or slander because the standard of proof of injury is so high.  The injury must be intentional and malicious – that is, there must be proof that there was intent to damage a plaintiff economically or personally.

There have been discussions about reforming libel laws in general and relating to the media specifically.  But to my knowledge, no one has ever used libel law reform as a threat against the First Amendment.  Allowing Donald Trump to define "horrible" and "purposely negative" articles about him is insane.

Protecting the freedom of the press – even when they write hit pieces – is of paramount importance in the age of political correctness.

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