I'm not a lawyer. And I don't play one on TV.
But even I raised an eyebrow last week at a jury's decision to award Judge Ola Lewis more than $100,000 in her lawsuit against a blogger in Brunswick County.
The blogger questioned her judicial ethics in a Facebook post. Lewis claimed she was libeled. The jury agreed.
The fact is Judge Lewis is a public figure, and this kind of thing goes with the territory. It doesn't mean it's right, but it is the way it works.
If this low threshold for libel were to become the standard, imagine how many times our friends in Congress could sue me for questioning their motives and practices. Or turn that around, I could get rich by suing all the people who post or say nasty things about me when they disagree with what I have to say.
Well, my guess is that this
decision will get overturned by an appeals court. All the same, my
opinion is the amount of time and money that has gone into this case is already
a waste, and something that should bother all of us. I think everyone
should be interested in defending our important First Amendment freedoms —
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.