Taking On The Southern Poverty Law Center In The U.S. Supreme Court On Behalf Of Christian Organizations
Dec 29, 2021
Today, your support opened a great door for us to speak to the United States Supreme Court about another one of its terrible rulings by which organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center are allowed to defame Christian ministries as “hate groups.”
The Amici Curiae (friends of the court) brief we filed today with the Court was at the request of the legal counsel for Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., d/b/a D. James Kennedy Ministries and in support of its Petition for Certiorari, a pleading asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case. Counsel had learned of our Ninth Amendment argument and wanted it submitted to the Court. The brief is truly short (commentary sized), and I encourage you to read it.
If the appeal is granted, the Court will be presented with an opportunity to overrule New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). In that case, and those that have followed in its wake, the Court has held that “freedom of the press” trumps the fundamental right at common law for persons to be secure in their reputation.
Reversal of Sullivan is key to protecting Christian organizations from defamation by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, CNN, and others, and it is a case tailor made for using the Ninth Amendment.
Your support is key to the work we have been able to do on the Ninth Amendment.
THE SCOTUS RULING AND ITS NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES
Because of Sullivan, organizations like Coral Ridge, Family Research Council, American Family Association, and their public leaders, can be defamed by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, but they cannot recover damages resulting from that defamation unless they can prove the media publisher acted with “actual malice,” a subjective mental state nearly impossible to prove.
As Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch recently wrote, Sullivan has “evolved into a subsidy for published falsehoods on a scale no one could have foreseen,” and “has come to leave far more people without redress than anyone could have predicted.”
Consequently, when Coral Ridge sued Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling it a “hate group” and Amazon for the damages cause by using the “hate group” label in its operations, its claims were dismissed by the lower courts because of Sullivan’s “actual malice” standard.
WHY THIS CASE IS SO IMPORTANT CONSTITUTIONALLY
This case was tailor made for application of the Ninth Amendment, which states that the “enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Sullivan’s construction of the enumerated right to “freedom of the press” violated the Ninth Amendment’s guarantee by construing that enumerated right to “deny” and “disparage” the unenumerated but fundamental right at common law to “person security” which “consists in a person’s legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation.”
It is time to have the constitution interpreted correctly and for the mouths of those who would lie be stopped (Psalm 12:3-4).
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