Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: Federal Judge Says Post-Charlottesville Defamation Suit Against Alex Jones and Others Can Proceed

Brennan Gilmore sued Jones and others who made false and defamatory statements about him after he filmed deadly car attack at 2017 “Unite the Right” rally

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia issued an opinion ruling that Brennan Gilmore’s defamation suit against against Alex Jones, Infowars and others who spread false and defamatory conspiracy theories about him can proceed.

In March 2018, Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic filed suit on behalf of Gilmore, a Charlottesville counter-protester at the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally who captured video footage of the car attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured 36 others. The Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) is co-counsel for Mr. Gilmore.

Andrew Mendrala, Supervising Attorney with the Civil Rights Clinic at Georgetown Law released this statement:

“Victims of vile conspiracy theories should take comfort in Judge Moon’s ruling that Brennan Gilmore’s defamation suit against InfoWars must proceed. Today’s decision shows that the law will protect victims of baseless lies by holding people like Alex Jones accountable for the harm they cause.”

CAC’s Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod added:

“We are gratified by Judge Moon’s decision recognizing that Brennan Gilmore’s defamation claims against Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists should go forward. As Judge Moon correctly recognized, Alex Jones cannot use the First Amendment as a shield when he makes up lies that injure ordinary Americans like Brennan Gilmore. Indeed, the courts have recognized that these sorts of false and defamatory statements do not advance the values that the First Amendment was adopted to protect and, indeed, are at odds with those values because they undermine civil discourse and the credibility of the press. We look forward to continuing to work with the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic in representing Brennan in this important case.”

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Resources:

Ruling by U.S. District Court in Gilmore v. Jones, et al., March 29, 2019: https://www.theusconstitution.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Gilmore-v.-Jones-Opinion.pdf

Briefing from CAC, Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic, and friendly amici in Gilmore v. Jones, et al., available here: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/gilmore-v-jones-et-al/

“Judge hears motions to dismiss in Alex Jones defamation case,” CBS-19 (Charlottesville), November 13, 2018: https://www.theusconstitution.org/news/tv-cbs-judge-hears-motions-to-dismiss-in-alex-jones-defamation-case/

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Georgetown University Law Center is a global leader in legal education and the preeminent U.S. law school based in the nation’s capital. A world-class faculty of celebrated theorists and leading legal practitioners offers students an unmatched breadth and depth of academic opportunities. Second to none in experiential education, the Law Center’s numerous clinics are deeply woven into the Washington, D.C., landscape. More than 20 centers and institutes forge cutting-edge research and policy resources across fields including health, the environment, human rights, technology, national security and international economics. Georgetown Law equips students to succeed in a rapidly evolving legal environment and to make a profound difference in the world, guided by the school’s motto, “Law is but the means, justice is the end.”

Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit the CAC website at www.theusconstitution.org.

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