Continuing story… “A $250 million defamation lawsuit filed by Kentucky high school student Nicholas Sandmann against The Washington Post was dismissed by a federal judge on Friday afternoon.
Judge William O. Bertelsman ruled that seven Washington Post articles and three tweets focusing on the Covington Catholic High School student, who became the center of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, were protected by the First Amendment and deemed opinion.”
“When Sandmann appeals, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider his arguments. Given the procedural posture of this case—the motion to dismiss stage—Sandmann has solid grounds to argue for reversal.
That’s because at that stage, the court must read the facts in the light most favorable to Sandmann, and if a reasonable jury could interpret the Post’s statements as defamatory, the court must allow the case to continue. An analysis of Judge Bertelsman’s opinion indicates that he overstepped his bounds in several areas and resolved factual disputes that should have been left for a jury to decide.” …
“If Sandmann loses his appeal, the consequences will be direr than his personal defeat. As his father, Ted Sandmann said following Friday’s ruling, “I believe fighting for justice for my son and family is of vital national importance. If what was done to Nicholas is not legally actionable, then no one is safe.”
The senior Sandmann is correct. A defeat would sound the death knell to the last remaining check on a profession that has abandoned all pretense of serious, unbiased, and fact-based reporting since Donald Trump entered the political arena—defamation law.”
“Last Thursday, attorneys Robert Barnes and Kevin Murphy filed a defamation suit in Kentucky’s Kenton County Circuit Court against twelve public figures on behalf of eight unnamed Covington students, Law & Crime reports.
The targets are Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Deb Haaland, CNN’s Ana Navarro, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, comedian Kathy Griffin, ABC News’s Matthew Dowd, ex-CNN personality Reza Aslan, Kentucky entrepreneur Adam Edelen, Princeton University’s Kevin Kruse, left-wing activist Shaun King, Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery, and Rewire editor-in-chief Jodi Jacobson.”
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