Former President Donald Trump filed a $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN arguing the network has maligned him with “fake news” for the purposes of damaging his political future heading into 2024. First Amendment Watch asked First Amendment scholar Timothy Zick to annotate the 29-page lawsuit for the legal claims it made and the precedents it cited.
Conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook-denier Alex Jones owes $965 million in defamation and emotional distress damages to the families of eight Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent, a Connecticut jury decided Wednesday. The ruling comes just weeks after Jones was ordered to pay nearly $50 million in damages to a pair of Sandy Hook parents in a separate trial in Texas in August.
The complaint filed Oct. 3 stated, “CNN has sought to use its massive influence – purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source – to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”
The National Rifle Association claimed that a New York state financial regulator coerced and threatened banks and insurers to sever business relationships with the gun group, according to the 2018 lawsuit, which claimed the regulator's "intent [was] to obstruct, chill, deter, and retaliate against the NRA’s core political speech." But, a federal appeals court recently found that the regulator's actions were done in "good faith" and dismissed the complaint.
Dr. Nathaniel Hiers sued the university for infringing on his right to free speech by discriminating against his viewpoint, placing unconstitutional conditions on his employment, and attempting to compel and retaliate against his speech, according to the lawsuit filed April 2020 in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.
First Amendment lawyer Lyrissa Lidsky weighs in on a recently upheld social media censorship law in Texas that would bar platforms with more than 50 million users from removing content with political viewpoints. A different circuit court in Florida filed a preliminary injunction against a similar law. Since both federal appeals courts disagreed, only the Supreme Court can decide if the platforms have a First Amendment right to censor, or if they don’t.
The first release from First Amendment Watch at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University focuses on the rights of those who wish to photograph or record video of police officers in public places.
Richard Bugg, a theater professor at Southern Utah University filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Utah Aug. 31. Bugg, represented by attorney Jerry Mooney with financial support from the FIRE Faculty Legal Defense Fund, argues that he is “opposed to the coercion of speech that is taking place on our campus and on most campuses,” the lawsuit stated.