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Rosenbloom v. Metromedia

Significance, Impact


George Rosenbloom


Metromedia, Inc.

Petitioner's Claim

A radio station that broadcast defamatory information about a private individual has committed libel, since the news was not about a public figure or public official.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Ramsey Clark

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Bernard G. Segal

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), Warren E. Burger, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

John Marshall Harlan II, Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart (William O. Douglas did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

7 June 1971


Upheld an appeals court ruling that even though a news broadcast contains information about a private citizen it is not libel unless the plaintiff can demonstrate a reckless disregard for the truth or malicious intent.

Related Cases

  • New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).
  • Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts., U.S. (1967).
  • Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974).
  • Time, Inc. v. Firestone, 424 U.S. 448 (1976).
  • Hutchinson v. Proxmire, 443 U.S. 111 (1979).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan and Elder Witt. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd edition. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1997.
  • Gunther, Gerald and Kathleen Sullivan. Constitutional Law, 13th edition. New York: The Foundation Press Inc., 1997.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972