Samantha Barbas talks to host Laura Silverman about free speech and the Supreme Court

Samantha Barbas.

Episode 7 - Free Speech and the Supreme Court with Samantha Barbas

19:57 Run Time | September 26, 2023

Most Americans take free speech for granted. In her new book, “Actual Malice: Civil Rights and Freedom of the Press in New York Times v. Sullivan,” legal historian Samantha Barbas illustrates precisely why we shouldn’t. In this episode of Driven to Discover, host Laura Silverman talks to Barbas, a professor of law at the University at Buffalo and an expert in the intersections of law, culture and the media, about the landmark 1964 case that liberated the press and transformed free speech in America. Barbas paints a compelling portrait of how dire things had become for journalists (and, relatedly, the Civil Rights Movement) before Sullivan, and predicts a similarly dire future for the media and even for everyday citizens speaking their minds on social media if the decision were ever to be reversed—a not inconceivable outcome with our current Supreme Court.