On November 18th, a Supreme Court judge for Westchester County issued a temporary prior restraint against The New York Times brought by Project Veritas, a conservative organization founded by political activist James O’Keefe. The prior restraint arises from a November 11th article in The Times about a Justice Department investigation into Project Veritas’s reporting methods, including its possible involvement in the theft of a diary belonging to President Joe Biden’s daughter.
On Monday, November 15th, a superior court judge in Connecticut ruled that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was liable by default in a defamation lawsuit. Judge Barbara Bellis issued the default judgement after years of Jones’ refusal to turn over financial and web analytics data that had been ordered by the court.
In his new book, "The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder," Robert Corn-Revere asks a simple question: what characterizes the psychology of a censor? For Corn-Revere, the attitudes of moral crusaders have been fairly consistent over the last 200 years: they are marked at once by a rigid certainty that the ideas they target are indisputably harmful and an insecure defensiveness stemming from the awareness that most people will reject their attempts at censorship.
On November 12th, Summer Zervos, a former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant, settled her defamation suit against Donald Trump. Zervos sued Trump just days before he took office in 2016 after he called her a liar when she accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2007. For the majority of Trump’s term in office, the lawsuit was stalled by a debate over whether the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution barred state courts from interfering with a sitting president’s official duties.
James Savage, a supervisor of a voting machine warehouse in the Philadelphia suburbs is Donald Trump, his two former attorneys Rudy Guiliani and Jenna Ellis, and two GOP poll watchers for defamation and civil conspiracy. The lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia county court, alleges that Gregory Stenstrom and Leah Hoopes, the two GOP poll watchers, falsely claimed that Savage altered the vote tabulation of the 2020 presidential election and gave Joe Biden 50,000 additional votes.
On November 3rd, Smartmatic, an election technology company, sued One America News Network (OANN) and Newsmax for defamation over claims related to the 2020 presidential election. The lawsuits, filed against OANN in Washington D.C. and against Newsmax in Delaware, allege that the conservative news organizations aired dozens of reports accusing Smartmatic of participating in a conspiracy to rig the election against Donald Trump.