Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo

PETITIONER: Miami Herald Publishing Company
RESPONDENT: Pat Tornillo
LOCATION: The Miami Herald

DOCKET NO.: 73-797
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Florida Supreme Court

CITATION: 418 US 241 (1974)
ARGUED: Apr 17, 1974
DECIDED: Jun 25, 1974

ADVOCATES:
Dan P. S. Paul - for appellant
Daniel P. S. Paul - argued the cause for the appellant
Jerome A. Barron - argued the cause for the appellee
Jerome A. Barron - for appellee

Facts of the case

Pat Tornillo was Executive Director of the Classroom Teachers Association and a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives in Dade County, Florida. The Miami Herald published two editorials criticizing Tornillo and his candidacy. He demanded that the Herald publish his responses to the editorials. When the Herald refused, Tornillo sued in Dade County Circuit Court under Florida Statute Section 104.38, which granted political candidates criticized by any newspaper the right to have their responses to the criticisms published. The Herald challenged the statute as a violation of the free press clause of the First Amendment. The Circuit Court ruled that the statute was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Florida reversed this decision.

Question

Did Florida Statute Section 104.38, the "right to reply" statute, violate the free press clause of the First Amendment applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment?

Media for Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 17, 1974 in Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 25, 1974 in Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo

Warren E. Burger:

I also have for announcement number 73-797, Miami Herald Publishing Co. against Tornillo and for reasons stated in an opinion filed today, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is reversed.

Mr. Justice Brennan, with whom Mr. Justice Rehnquist joined, filed a concurring statement.

Mr. Justice White also filed a concurring opinion.