Pat Tornillo (plaintiff) was a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives seat of Dade County, Florida. Miami Herald (defendant) was a newspaper that printed two editorials criticizing Tornillo’s candidacy. Tornillo demanded that the Miami Herald publish his responses to the editorials. The newspaper refused and Tornillo brought suit in Florida state court under a Florida statute that granted political candidates criticized by a newspaper the right to have their responses to the criticisms published. The Miami Herald argued that this statute was a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of press. The trial court ruled that the statute was unconstitutional, but the Florida Supreme Court reversed. The Miami Herald appealed to the United States Supreme Court.