Bloggers have 1st Amendment 'protection' in defamation suits

In a decision released by the 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals:

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…."

We therefore hold that the Gertz negligence requirement for private defamation actions is not limited to cases with institutional media defendants. Obsidian Finance Group LLC et al v. Crystal Cox (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014), pp. 11-12.

As stated by Eugene Volokh (the Volokh Conspiracy) who represented Crystal Cox against Obsidian Finance Group LLC :

… I think that’s right, not just as a matter of First Amendment principle but also as a matter of history and precedent (as I documented at length in Freedom for the Press as an Industry, or for the Press as a Technology? From the Framing to Today, 160 U. Pa. L. Rev. 459 (2012))….



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
First Amendment To The United States Constitution

This is a fair and just ruling coming from one of, if not the most liberal appeals court in our country. Maybe the 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals is more liberal? At any rate, this ruling gives 1st Amendment protection to those NOT from the media. This means to the public and bloggers, writers,you and me. The mode of publication, paper, internet, blog, mass media was not a determining factor in this ruling. It was taken under consideration but this ruling gives the public and bloggers equal protection under the 1st amendment. While I want to feel 'secure' and safe with this ruling, I do not. My reasoning is simple. It is what this and past administrations have done to chip away at our freedom and liberty. The 1st Amendment is the cornerstone of our Constitution, just my opinion. Without it, what do we have? Do not take this the wrong way and I am not an expert on the Constitution or Constitutional law. I have read the Constitution, The Bill Of Rights, The Federalist Papers, and many books relating to our Constitution.

Eugene Volokh is the attorney who represented the plaintiff, Crystal Cox in the case that was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals. If you have the time, use the links I have shared at the top of the post. It is very interesting reading and Mr. Volokh has done an excellent job. Still, the times being what they are, the arming of our Law enforcement agencies with massive and heavy weapons, the way many (not all) LEO and government agents dismiss, run over our 1st Amendment rights every day is of grave concern to me. It has been for years and I will be the first one to admit, I have a jaded, politically INCORRECT, very conservative view that has been formed over the course of my lifetime. The details of why and how I became very conservative are not important, at least not right now. Let me just say this: I am the conservative backlash to a very liberal upbringing.

The 9th is not the first Circuit Court Of Appeals to rule on this but it is very noteworthy that it came from the 9th, which is based in San Francisco. The 9th has typical upheld 1st Amendment individual, group, employee rights, especially when it has been in cases that were against corporations. Will the 9th pull reversal on this ruling? It has a track record of doing so and it would be a huge miscarriage of justice and a further erosion of our freedom if the 9th does reverse the ruling.

I see this as some good news and time will tell if this ruling stands up or not. The current regime has proven time after time they could care less about our rights, freedom or liberties, as the Founding Fathers set them forth in our Constitution.
None of us should be standing still or silent. 

Failure is not an option and be a renegade. A word I am am very fond of, renegade. This will be the subject of a post I am working on, RENEGADE. Are you one of the sheeple or 'Bad Company' as the current regime views us for exercising our Constitutional rights? Especially the 1st and 2nd Amendments. So be it, and I am at peace, in life or death.


Steer In: PumaBydesign001

Tags: 1st Amendment, Bloggers and the public, Media, Crystal Cox, Obsidian Finance, 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals, Libel law, NSA, TSA, DHS, Government gone wild. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Patriot's Corner. Thanks!

1 Comments - Share Yours!:

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey PC;

I will cut and paste this later to my blog and pass on the props. I have blogged a lot on the 1st amendment protection of bloggers especially with Senator Dianne Feinstein*spit* is trying to have a law drafted that only gives journalistic protection to the establishment dead tree media...and did I mention that they are liberal?
So far it hasn't gotten any traction but with the establishment GOP who don't like bloggers any less then the democrats do who knows what will pop out like a watermelon seed.