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Old October 26, 2011, 03:52 AM   #1
JustThisGuy
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Politician Sues Opponents after Defeat

This lawsuit is reportedly already having a chilling effect on the First Amendment as it relates to political speech and campaign discussions about politicians. If the lawsuit is won it will either be the best thing to ever happen to American politics, ... or the worst.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/...-election-loss
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Old October 26, 2011, 08:02 AM   #2
Armorer-at-Law
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AFAIK, this story has received zero press coverage locally.
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Old October 26, 2011, 10:13 AM   #3
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This will not come out well for the complainant.

On top of losing the election he is going to be paying some legal costs for the victor.
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Old October 26, 2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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Similar thing happened in Nashville TN. City council member was recalled because she had a job and worked in Detriot. Her constituents said she spent more time in Detriot than Nashville and she lost her seat. Then ran for reelection and lost again. She sued for defamation against the group who campaigned to recall her but the judge tossed it out. This one will be tossed out too. http://nashvillecitypaper.com/conten...mation-lawsuit
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Old October 26, 2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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This is chilling though, If you lose an election or lose a vote on something SUE! Surprised the brady's havn't used this tactic yet...
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Old October 26, 2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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And someone is surprised that a democrat wants to rule by appointed judges rather than by the "democratic" process? Why would we want to get the constitutional system of checks and balances back on track now that we are ruling by Czarist edicts?
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Old October 26, 2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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Not sure what everybody is getting so excited about. The pol who lost the election felt that his opponents had defamed or slandered him in their campaign.

Anybody can sue over defamation or slander.

From the linked article, it doesn't seem like the plaintiff has much of a case. The opponents may have misrepresented their argument, or exaggerated it, but I don't think they did anything that rises to the requirements for a slander case.

I'd be a lot more worried if the plaintiff were barred from suing over potential slanders used by an opponent, because the slanders were part of a political campaign.

Freedom of speech is not freedom to commit libel.

Edit: I think the pol will lose; I think the judge might even toss the case, on lack of merit. The judge should NOT toss the case because it is related to a political campaign, though. Tossing it for lack of merit is something else entirely.
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Old October 26, 2011, 04:11 PM   #8
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The judge won't toss the case because the judge has a conflict of interest (and is for the plaintiff.) Judge should have recused himself.
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Old October 26, 2011, 05:47 PM   #9
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That part of it is a problem, and I agree the judge should recuse himself. Of course, if he doesn't, the defendant has a pretty easy appeal.
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Old October 26, 2011, 09:07 PM   #10
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Politicians being legally culpable for lying? Count me in.

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Old October 26, 2011, 10:38 PM   #11
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Rubbish. The conflict here is palpable. Just as was Judge Vaughn Walker's in California's Prop 8 litigation. But the black-robed fascists just march on undaunted by trifles like constitutions and the rule of law. Let the suit go forward, if you must, but recuse yourself.

What unflushable turds.
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Old October 27, 2011, 11:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Not sure what everybody is getting so excited about. The pol who lost the election felt that his opponents had defamed or slandered him in their campaign.

Anybody can sue over defamation or slander.
But the bar is exceedingly high regarding a public figure. The speaker or writer must make a factual statement which is false and defamatory and must know it is false or make it in reckless disregard of the truth. The core facts seem to be true (which is always a defense) and the rest simply opinions which are just that.

There's no way this bozo wins but it's just a shame the defendants are going to have pay to litigate this. That's the real danger in not getting an early dismissal --- legal costs can be the intimidat or and not the threat of an actual judgment.
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