Offensive Speech

Lawsuit Against Neo-Nazi Cannot Be Dismissed on 1st Amendment Grounds

Chief Judge Dana Christensen

Chief Judge Dana L. Christensen

See also: Neo-Nazi Publisher, Andrew Anglin, Found Liable for International Infliction of Emotional Distress

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen will allow a lawsuit to proceed against Andrew Anglin, the publisher of the Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, ruling that the First Amendment does not protect him from being held responsible for unleashing a “troll storm” targeting a Jewish woman and her family. The Huffington Post reports that Anglin had hoped to use free speech as a defense from liability for orchestrating the anti-Semitic harassment campaign on his site.

The judge wrote in his ruling to deny the motion to dismiss the case that “The Court cannot find that Anglin’s speech is unprotected on the basis that it evinces a morally and factually indefensible worldview. That said, it hardly makes sense to conclude as Anglin contends that Anglin’s posts and sponsored trollstorm are entitled to additional protection because of their anti-Semitic content.”

The plaintiff, Tanya Gersh, filed a lawsuit against Anglin in April 2017  for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, or violation of Montana’s Anti-Intimidation Act. She says that she and her family were severely harassed and threatened after Anglin accused her of trying to drive out the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer from a Montana town. The site repeatedly published terror campaigns against Gersh and her family, along with her contact information. 

Anglin’s attorney Mark Randazza told the Associated Press that the judge’s decision is “dangerous for free speech” and could be used to curb free speech in other ways.


The New York Times The Associated Press Montana Public Radio Huffington Post
Order Denying Motion to Dismiss Complaint