Gilmore’s attorneys argued that Gilmore was a private figure until the conspiracy articles began, and they said the articles would lead readers to believe the statements about Gilmore were meant literally.
Judge Norman Moon is considering the arguments before issuing a ruling on the defense motions, and outside court after the hearing, attorneys for both sides explained their positions.
Attorney Aaron Walker, who is representing several defendants, called the suit an abuse of the First Amendment.
“Many statements are very clearly opinion,” he said. “Often [there are] opinions you might find offensive, but the First Amendment doesn’t just protect speech you agree with; it protects speech you disagree with.”
Gilmore’s attorney Elizabeth Wydra disagreed.
“This is just something that is not acceptable,” she said. “It’s not protected by the First Amendment, to make up lies about an everyday citizen who is contributing to meaningful civil discourse in this divided time by sharing his witness to history.”
Gilmore says he’s lost friends and job opportunities and has received death threats. He says he filed the suit not only for himself but also to protect others.
“I just want to ensure that the next person who finds himself in that position, that they don’t have to suffer the same injury that I suffered,” he said. “And that’s why we’re here today. We’re looking forward to the process.”