Observer Article is Protected Speech, Court Rules

september 7, 2004  10:56 am
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Dallas Observer in a lawsuit brought by two Denton County public officials, reports the Houston Chronicle. Judge Darlene Whitten and District Attorney Bruce Isaacks sued the paper for libel over a satire published in 1999. The piece, titled "Stop the Madness," was a parody of the actual arrest of a 13-year-old girl for reading a graphic Halloween story to her class. The Supreme Court backed its 8-0 ruling by saying that a reasonable reader of the entire article about a fictional 6-year-old girl's arrest would realize it was not true and was intended as satire.