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Noah Feldman

Fox News Can Be Held Accountable While Protecting Free Speech

The media can report on a public figure’s lies without endorsing them.

In the witness box.

In the witness box.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At the center of Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox News and Fox Corporation is a deceptively subtle First Amendment question: How may a news outlet speak about false claims made by a public figure?

A Delaware judge will soon decide whether to grant summary judgment to Fox or Dominion, instead of sending the case to a jury. But that won’t be the end of the case. Unless the parties reach a settlement, the case could eventually wend its way to the US Supreme Court, where the justices would have to confront this core question.