|Justice Clarence Thomas wants you to believe that he is as crochety as he looks here.|
This Supreme Court term has been a disaster on all levels, especially its boneheaded decision to overturn Roe V Wade. There is one precedent the court didn't overturn, however. But if one crochety justice had his way, it would have.
From The Hill:
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday expressed a desire to revisit a landmark 1964 ruling that makes it relatively difficult to bring successful lawsuits against media outlets for defamation. Thomas’s statement came in response to the court’s decision to turn away an appeal from a Christian nonprofit group who disputed their characterization by the civil rights watchdog group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Coral Ridge Ministries Media sued the SPLC for defamation for listing them as a hate group on their public database, which led to Amazon excluding Coral Ridge as a recipient of charitable contributions from online shoppers.
Thomas dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the lawsuit, which had been dismissed by lower courts for failing to overcome the decades-old legal standard, established in the landmark 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision, that public figures who sue for defamation must not only prove defendants made defamatory statements, but that those statements were made with “actual malice.”“This case is one of many showing how New York Times and its progeny have allowed media organizations and interest groups ‘to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity,’” Thomas wrote. “SPLC’s ‘hate group’ designation lumped Coral Ridge’s Christian ministry with groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis,” the justice added. “It placed Coral Ridge on an interactive, online ‘Hate Map’ and caused Coral Ridge concrete financial injury by excluding it from the AmazonSmile donation program. Nonetheless, unable to satisfy the ‘almost impossible’ actual-malice standard this Court has imposed, Coral Ridge could not hold SPLC to account for what it maintains is a blatant falsehood.”
In its iconic 2010 report, "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda," the Southern Poverty Law Center explained that the "late Rev. D. James Kennedy started turning fundamentalist Coral Ridge Presbyterian into a mega-church in the 1960s."In an especially nasty 1989 edition of a CRM newsletter, Kennedy ran photographs of children along with the tagline, “Sex With Children? Homosexuals Say Yes!” "Over the years," the SPLC report adds, Rev. Kennedy "emphasized anti-gay rhetoric, particularly in his TV ministry. He recommended as 'essential' the virulent work of R.J. Rushdoony ... who believed practicing gays should be executed."
"Dick Hafer (the comic book's author) has produced a very accurate portrayal of homosexuality and the problem it poses to our nation and civilization. This unique book deserves an open-minded reading by all Americans, and especially by those who serve in leadership capacities."
Does Thomas not realize how this could backfire? These anti gay groups could be sued for defamation as well, if it was made easier to sue people for defamation as well. Off course, one of problem with the religious right, like Thomas, they fall to imagine how they would feel or what might happen, if the shoe was on the other foot.
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