Michael Milkovich

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Michael Milkovich was a wrestling coach at a high school in Ohio. J. Theodore Diadiun, who worked for a newspaper owned by Loraine Journal Co., was sued by Milkovich for libel. Athletes that Milkovich coached got into a fight during a competition, which resulted in him having to testify under oath about the event a number of times in front of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. After one instance of Milkovich testifying, Diadiun wrote an article in which he said that Milkovich lied under oath. Milkovich first brought the suit to the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, which ruled that he did not prove that Diadiun acted with actual malice, which was then overturned by an Ohio appellate court and remanded back to the lower court.…show more content…
He states that this case deals with whether or not opinions are also protected by the First Amendment. He notes that Loraine Journal derives their argument of opinions being protected from Gertz, going on to say that the Supreme Court did not believe that Gertz meant to establish any sort of protection. He then introduces a phrase such as, “In my opinion, Tom is a liar”. According to Rehnquist, the problem with this phrase is that, despite the author claiming it to be his opinion, it can still be interpreted by the reader as being a fact. Rehnquist states that just because a person claims that he is only writing an opinion, does not mean that people are hurt any less than had they not noted it was an opinion. The opinion goes on to say that there is no need to define a protection of opinions in order to guarantee freedom of expression. Brennan begins his dissent by noting that he agrees with a number of the points made by Rehnquist, including the guidelines set regarding the protection of opinions. However, he disagrees with how Rehnquist judged the actual cased based on these rules. He calls Diadiun’s words “hyperbole”, stating that opinions don’t always have to be interpreted as factual, and that Diadiun’s article doesn’t imply that his claim of Milkovich being a liar is
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