Via press release published by Christian Newswire:
In a brief submitted November 24, the Christian media outreach D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal of a lower court ruling dismissing DJKM’s defamation lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
In its appeal brief, DJKM, represented by the National Center for Law and Liberty (NCLL), asks the Court to reconsider its 1964 decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, a ruling which created a high bar for “public figures” to win defamation suits.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected DJKM’s defamation suit based on the Times v. Sullivan standard.
Sullivan requires “public figures” to demonstrate “actual malice” on the part of defendants in defamation suits. In so doing, bringing a civil suit that seeks damages for defamation brought by a person in the public eye becomes an almost impossible task, depriving that individual of the opportunity to defend their reputation.
“That gives reputational terrorists like the SPLC carte blanche to attack and destroy its ideological enemies,” said Dr. Frank Wright [photo], President and CEO of DJKM.
“We are asking the Court to give us and similarly situated ministries and individuals the ability to bring a claim for reputational harm that is currently denied under Sullivan.”
DJKM sued the SPLC in 2017 after the self-styled “hate” watchdog/Left-wing advocacy group placed DJKM on the SPLC’s “hate map” and classified DJKM as a “hate group” for teaching the traditional, Biblical position on marriage and sexuality.
Because of SPLC’s false and defamatory label, DJKM has suffered reputational injury and financial harm from both increased security expenses and decreased donations.
The former Coral Ridge Ministries earned its hate group status under viciously anti-LGBT Pastor D. James Kennedy. (The D is for dead, which he now is.) Liberty Counsel lost its own suit on the issue in 2018.
— Courthouse News (@CourthouseNews) July 29, 2021