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Photo via Ron DeSantis/Twitter
House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, said Friday he supports Gov. Ron DeSantis’ call to revisit a U.S. Supreme Court decision that has helped protect media companies from defamation lawsuits.
The 1964 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case known as New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
held that the First Amendment limits public officials' ability to sue for defamation.
DeSantis said this month he thinks the case should be revisited, a position that Renner echoed Friday during a news conference at the Capitol.
“I think the governor’s right. It’s time to test that law, you know the New York Times v. Sullivan,
” Renner, an attorney, said.
“And if a reporter is hiding behind an anonymous source that may not be a real person, may not be a real source, and putting out what we’ve come to know as fake news, then there needs to be some liability for that.”
Renner’s comments also came three days after Rep. Alex Andrade, R-Pensacola, filed a potentially far-reaching bill (HB 991) that would make changes in state defamation laws.
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