Court: Bloggers have First Amendment protections

January 18, 2014 by Jeff Barnard

A federal appeals court has ruled 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 on Friday ordered a new trial in a defamation lawsuit brought by an Oregon bankruptcy trustee against a Montana blogger who wrote online that the trustee mishandled a bankruptcy case.

The appeals court ruled that the trustee was not a public figure, but the issue was of , so the negligence standard applied.

Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press says the ruling affirms what many have long argued: Standards set by a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court ruling apply to everyone, not just journalists.

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1 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2014
So for example, I can say that I think our government was incompetent on the issues of the "War on Terror," and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that I think it was foolish to be paying Pakistan for usage of their roads and air space.

I can also say, for example, that I believe Pakistan was funneling our own money back to Al Queada, and they probably even used some of it to build Bin Laden's retirement compound. They secretly welcomed him as a "War Hero," and our naive, incompetent political and military leaders fell for it the whole way.

Thankfully, somebody eventually caught on. They know this, and we know this, but for "PC" BS international relations reasons, our leaders still won't come out and say it like they should.

Or I can say that I believe the reason Obama doesn't approve the oil pipeline is because he doesn't want to have a backlash and be seen as the "Democrat who went against the environment," even though he wants the pipeline too; pass the buck to the next guy.
1 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2014

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