Editors at National Review Online explain their disappointment with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that hits close to home.

We are disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up our appeal in the case of National Review Inc. v. Michael E. Mann, and we can express our disappointment no better than did Justice Samuel Alito in his dissent from the denial of certiorari. “The petition in this case,” Alito writes,

“presents questions that go to the very heart of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press: the protection afforded to journalists and others who use harsh language in criticizing opposing advocacy on one of the most important public issues of the day. If the Court is serious about protecting freedom of expression, we should grant review.”

At stake in this case are nothing less than two of the core guarantees that undergird American life. The first is the promise that all people may engage in robust political debate without fear of retribution from the sensitive and the malicious. The second is the promise that when legal disputes do arise, they will be resolved in a timely manner — before, not after, the targeted party has been bled of precious time and resources. Thus far in National Review Inc. v. Michael E. Mann, neither of these guarantees has been upheld. We are now seven years into this saga, and there remains no end in sight. …

… But one would expect that a Court that takes the time to superintend the marginal cases would have time for the foundational cases, too. And make no mistake: This is a foundational case.