In 1903, Edwin A. Jaggard, a Judge on the Ramsey County District Court, addressed a convention of the National Editorial Association in Omaha, Nebraska, on "anomalies" or antiquated rules and fictions in the law of defamation, particularly implied malice. He was relentless in his critique of the law of libel and slander for its lack of clarity and uniformity, a hazard to publishers of journals sold in more than one state. He challenged his audience:
"But does any man here know upon what theory you are held responsible in cases of libel? I am very clear that none of you do know. You act every day on the presumption that you know this law, and yet you don't; and the lawyer does not know this law, and the judge does not know this law when your case is tried; and no one knows what this law is until the Supreme Court has had the last guess."
He proposed to make this body of law certain and clear by sweeping away the anomalies that permeate it: "Let the law abandon its metaphysical theories, its fictions and all its mediaeval survivals. It should recognize the right of action in the person concerning whom another publishes false and defamatory matter without legal excuse."
Judge Jaggard's address was later reprinted in an issue of the American Press. It is posted here.