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Court: Bloggers have First Amendment Protections
AP ^ | January 17, 2014 | Jeff Barnard

Posted on 01/18/2014 7:59:53 AM PST by opentalk

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — 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.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in a defamation lawsuit brought by an Oregon bankruptcy trustee against a Montana blogger who wrote online that the court-appointed trustee criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case.

(Excerpt) Read more at bigstory.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; US: Montana; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: montana; ninthcircus; oregon

1 posted on 01/18/2014 7:59:53 AM PST by opentalk
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To: opentalk
I can't believe that the 9th circuit actually got one right.


2 posted on 01/18/2014 8:08:28 AM PST by Maceman
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To: opentalk

Good news, if it continues to be upheld.

The mainstream media and Dems and GOP-Elites were hoping that only ‘approved’ journalists could garner such constitutional protection. That way, they could go after any blogger who wrote things they didn’t like.


3 posted on 01/18/2014 8:12:53 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: TomGuy

‘zackly.


4 posted on 01/18/2014 8:13:45 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: opentalk

Yes they got this one right. The anti 1st amendment crowd was next going to go after distention on facebook,freerepublic,and everywhere else.


5 posted on 01/18/2014 8:17:30 AM PST by rsobin
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From June 2013

Lindsey Graham Isn't Sure If Bloggers Deserve 'First Amendment Protection'

6 posted on 01/18/2014 8:20:33 AM PST by opentalk
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To: opentalk; humblegunner

Has anyone told humblegunner?

(I know, I know, FR is private property)


7 posted on 01/18/2014 8:21:44 AM PST by EDINVA ( m)
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To: TomGuy; opentalk
I'm not so sure that the "free speech" aspect of this case is totally relevant.

And in this particular case, the ruling may do more harm than good. The court fully acknowledged that the blogger made false and defamatory statements against the plaintiff in the case, but overturned the award for damages due to the failure of the judge in the civil case to give the proper instructions to the jury about the defendant's First Amendment rights (which may not apply anyway).

8 posted on 01/18/2014 8:21:49 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: EDINVA

I’m wondering how anyone would go about suing some anonymous blogger using a library computer in the first place.


9 posted on 01/18/2014 8:23:14 AM PST by humblegunner
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To: opentalk

Is this from the Onion/Scrapple Face? Surely, the 9th Circus couldn’t have gotten one right, could they?


10 posted on 01/18/2014 8:27:11 AM PST by Bushbacker1 (Molon Labe! (Oathkeeper))
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To: TomGuy
Always the same people regarding freedom issues....From Sept 2013

“Fascist” Sen. Feinstein Wants to Regulate the 1st Amendment: Bloggers Are Not “Real Reporters”

11 posted on 01/18/2014 8:30:14 AM PST by opentalk
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To: humblegunner

OR, if the blogger is so obscure, how would you know what s/he wrote about you (or about anything else)?


12 posted on 01/18/2014 8:31:12 AM PST by EDINVA ( m)
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To: opentalk
IIRC, about 1998 Hillary Clinton was whining that the Internet needed a 'gatekeeper' -- primarily because she and hubby were getting so much flack from it.

2005 FR thread of flashback to 1998:

FLASHBACK: HILLARY CLINTON SAYS INTERNET NEWS NEEDS 'RETHINK'
13 posted on 01/18/2014 8:40:10 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

> The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in a defamation lawsuit brought by an Oregon bankruptcy trustee against a Montana blogger who wrote online that the court-appointed trustee criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case.

Looks good, but wait, I’m sure the other shoe will drop.

Thanks opentalk.


14 posted on 01/18/2014 6:40:11 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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