Trump Hopes To Use Libel Laws To Get at Journalists

March 2, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is promising to toughen libel laws to get back at news media who "write purposely negative and horrible and false articles." Especially those that criticize him.

Whether any president (or Congress) would have the power to do so is another matter. Much U.S. libel law is at the state level. At the federal level, it is embedded in Constitutional and case law, which are largely beyond a president's reach.

"I've never heard of politicians say they would repeal case law established under the First Amendment," Gregg Leslie, a lawyer with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told the Associated Press. "You'd really need a constitutional amendment to do that."

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