On December 16th, a judge in the for the Superior Court of the State of Delaware denied Fox News’ request to have a $1.6 billion defamation suit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems dismissed. In March 2021, Dominion sued Fox News for defamation, arguing that network hosts, including Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and others, spread false information that its company’s technology was used to rig the election in favor of Joe Biden.
Fox’s lawyers argue that they had a First Amendment privilege to report newsworthy allegations–even false ones–in a neutral way. They also claim that Smartmatic failed to establish a key requirement of a defamation claim—that Piro, Dobbs, and Bartiromo acted with “actual malice.”
From the moment the 2020 presidential election was called in favor of Joe Biden, three prominent conservative cable companies, Fox News, One America News Network (OANN), and Newsmax have repeatedly questioned the accuracy of the results. Now Smartmatic, a voting technology company, is threatening to sue the networks for false claims they published or republished about its product.