Infowars host Alex Jones testifies during his defamation trial in Austin, Texas, Aug. 2, 2022

What Does the Alex Jones Case Mean for the First Amendment and Disinformation? Leading Scholars, Lawyers Provide Analysis

First Amendment Watch asked notable and thoughtful media legal scholars to reveal what this outcome reveals and portends for other Sandy Hook families who filed defamation suits, another in Texas and the third in Connecticut, slated to start next month. Media and legal scholars George Freeman, Lyrissa Lidsky, Lynn Oberlander and Timothy Zick weigh in.

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Attorney Mark Bankston questions Alex Jones on the stand during his trial.

Jury: Alex Jones Owes Sandy Hook Couple $45.2 Million with Massive Punitive Damages Award

In a 10-day trial filled with bellicose theatrics, rebukes and grief, the jury in the Alex Jones defamation case decided Friday that Jones owes Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $45.2 million in punitive damages. 

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California School Board Trustees Lose Suit Over Blocking Users on Social Media

The three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit argued that annoyance and concern that the couple's posts were distracting others and interfering with others commenting wasn’t corroborated by the facts.

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Demonstrators hold a protest rally the week after an unarmed man was shot dead by police in Phoenix

Next Up: Lawsuit Imminent to Challenge New Arizona Law Restricting the Recording of Police

There's no hesitancy among free press and media legal scholars who are asked whether the law is constitutional. There's consensus: It's not. They base their views on numerous rulings of federal appeals courts on the issue.

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The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court

Christian Flag in Center of Supreme Court Fight Raised on Boston’s City Hall Plaza

Harold Shurtleff told CBS Boston during Wednesday’s morning ceremony that he and his organization were very excited but “I think what’s more important is the precedent we set."

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James Madison
[The] right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right.”
-James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions, 1800
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