Bloggers = Media for First Amendment Libel Law Purposes

Eugene Volokh
The Volokh Conspiracy

So holds today’s Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014) (in which I represented the defendant). To be precise, the Ninth Circuit concludes that all who speak to the public, whether or not they are members of the institutional press, are equally protected by the First Amendment. To quote the court,

The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media … the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.” Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue — not the identity of the speaker — provide the First Amendment touchstones.

I think that’s right, not just as a matter of First Amendment principle but also as a matter of history and precedent…



The article continues at The Volokh Conspiracy.


H/T Ace of Spades HQ



Related:  Bloggers have First Amendment protections, federal court rules

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation: If the issue is of public concern, plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages…


H/T Weasel Zippers

Watch Obama get a sad on on this one…

The Obama regime seems to believe that they have the right to dictate who qualifies as a “journalist”, and seem to argue that only “real journalists” (translate MSM) qualify for journalistic or First Amendment protections.

Ah no, and this case could have legal ramifications that could help all bloggers against such minimization of their rights by this regime…



Update:  New Book: ‘Let’s Nationalize Fox News,’ Let Unions Decide What’s News

Just imagine! Imagine a world without Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. released an excerpt from the upcoming book, “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA” that asks its readers to do just that…


And, ‘Bye, Rush!’: Salon sings praises of nationalized media in a socialist USA




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