Larry Flynt, an outspoken and world-renowned defender of First Amendment rights and Chairman of the HUSTLER brand of properties, spoke in a talk titled “Fighting for the First Amendment” on Tuesday, March 5 in Goldstein Auditorium.
Larry Flynt has been involved in numerous legal battles for free speech in the United States, including his most prominent Supreme Court case, HUSTLER Magazine v. Falwell. Arising from an ad parody in a 1983 publication of the magazine, Rev. Jerry Falwell filed suit against HUSTLER Magazine and Flynt. The Supreme Court justices unanimously decided in 1988 that public figures cannot recover damages for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” based on parodies. The decision set a First Amendment precedent that the interest in protecting free speech surpasses the interest in protecting public figures’ emotions and reputations.