Trump wants to change libel law. Experts say there’s nothing he can do

President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration plans to “take a strong look at our country’s libel laws,” calling the current rules “a sham in addition to a disgrace.”

Speaking at a White House Cabinet meeting, Trump said the goal of the effort would certainly be “to ensure when somebody says something in which is actually false in addition to defamatory about someone in which person will have meaningful recourse in our courts.”

Trump features a long record of threatening to sue journalists who write things about him in which he does not like. Just last week, Trump’s lawyers threatened to sue author Michael Wolff over his best-selling book, “Fire in addition to Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which was released on Friday.

Wednesday’s comments, however, marked a significant escalation of Trump’s attacks on the press over what he calls “fake news.”

“Our current libel laws are a sham in addition to a disgrace, in addition to do not represent American values or American fairness,” Trump said, reading through prepared notes.

“So we’re going to take a strong look at in which. We want fairness. You can’t say things in which are false, knowingly false, in addition to be able to smile as money pours into your bank account … I think what the American people want to see is actually fairness.”

The remarks were startling for a few reasons. One is actually in which they may have been first time in which Trump’s desire to change the nation’s libel laws made the item into the president’s official written remarks.

Equally striking was Trump’s attempt to couch defamation laws inside the rhetoric of his populist political movement. According to the president, the current libel laws “do not represent American values or American fairness.”

although unless you work in journalism, Hollywood or politics, the item is actually unlikely you will ever have to learn much about defamation law, a patchwork of state laws in which govern the crime of publishing deliberately false statements about someone with the intent of damaging in which person.

A White House spokesman did not respond to questions through CNBC about what law Trump might actually want to change. Nor did he identify what, exactly, the administration will be “taking a very very strong look at.”

in which official silence, however, could be due in part to the fact in which there is actually little Trump could actually do to change how libel laws work.

“Trump is actually not changing — in addition to he never will change — the libel laws in This kind of country, despite his rhetoric,” said Richard Roth, a completely new York-based white-collar litigator in addition to founder of the Roth Law Firm. “These are laws in which originated hundreds of years ago in England.”

Today, Roth said, “libel in addition to slander are state court causes of action, not federal laws. So there actually is actually no federal statute in which Trump could try to get Congress to rewrite.”

Additionally, no single state could change its laws to make the item easier for public figures like Trump to win libel suits against the press. in which standard derives through a 1964 Supreme Court ruling, completely new York Times Co. v. Sullivan.

“He’s trying to usurp the judiciary, in addition to the item’s not going to work,” Roth said.

“If there is actually any likely change to libel-related laws as a result of Donald Trump the individual or Donald Trump the government official, the item is actually likely to come inside the form of increased protection for libel defendants who face a potential increase in frivolous lawsuits of the type he has filed (in addition to lost) inside the past,” Kevin Goldberg, a First Amendment attorney at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, told Poynter.

For at This kind of point, Roth said, Trump’s threat to change libel laws is actually just “another silly declaration” through the White House.

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