Judge reverses ruling, permits Nick Sandmann to sue Washington Post
A federal judge has partially reversed his prior ruling and permitted Covington Catholic pro-life student Nick Sandmann to move forward with his defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post, according to the Lifesite News.
Following the January March for Life in Washington, D.C., claims had poured in from many media outlets that alleged a video, which showed Sandmann, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap, harassing Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, outside the Lincoln Memorial.
But the full video and firsthand accounts showed it was Phillips who had intimidated Sandmann while he and his fellow students from Covington Catholic High School were merely performing school cheers in order to dissolve racist taunts from members of the Black Hebrew Israelites group.
The Washington Post issued an editor’s note in March admitting its false story but neither retracted nor apologized to Sandmann.
Judge William O. Bertelsman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed the lawsuit in July on the grounds that the Post’s reporting didn’t especially name Sandmann and its “rhetorical hyperbole” was constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.
The judge’s decision prompted President Trump to voice support for Sandman, saying the teen and his fellow classmates “were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false-smeared by media.”
As many media outlets deliberately tried to keep the false narrative and refused to apologize to Sandmann, his attorneys have filed defamation suits against them and other public figures, including CNN, NBC Universal, Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, and other media and left-wing activists.