8 thoughts on “Mannsuit Update”

  1. Yes, that’s good news.

    What’s not good news is that this thing is STILL going on after all these years. This is downright $%^&#!! obscene! This is nothing less than the use of “lawfare” to use government appurtenances to stifle free speech.

    This is a clear case of “process is punishment”, and as such should enrage us all.

  2. Stupidly but ironically, a big part of the reason for the delay in reaching a resolution has been the insistence of NRO to pursue a “fast track” via Anti-SLAPP law and court precedent.

    SLAPP is an acronym for a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”. If a member of the hoi polloi, deplorables, great unwashed, etc dares to contradict the chancellor, that worthy figure may ask the king and court to fine the impolite and unruly upstart. The chancellor has no interest in gaining the few pennies the prole has stashed; it’s all merely legal horror show to scare other peasants into silence.

    Many jurisdictions pass “Anti-SLAPP” laws that allow the first level court to distinguish a meritless SLAPP case from a legitimate request for finding fault and collecting recompense. And some jurisdictions have made such laws work.

    The jurisdiction Mann chose for his complaint does have Anti-SLAPP law, and NRO filed to have Mann’s suit declared a mere and meritless SLAPP. The first line, local, judge rejected that claim. Then, rather than proceed to fight it out, NRO blazed new trails into the appeals process. Does a law which does not EXPLICITLY allow a higher court to review an anti-SLAPP decision nevertheless IMPLY that such a decision is subject to such higher court review? If so, can the lower court action be stopped while the appeal is pending before the higher court? (Interlocutory) ?

    NRO essentially asked the higher court to write new law because the legislature got the Anti-SLAPP law wrong.

    It’s taken years for the higher courts to figure out that having courts second-guess legislatures is, in general, a bad idea.

    So, back at the lower court, NRO has STILL ducked the question of whether or not to fight it out. Instead they’ve now introduced the “Let’s you and HIM fight,” argument. Steyn, they say, was not an NRO employee. So Mann should fight STEYN (who quoted Simberg) but not the publisher.

    This claim, the lower courts decided to buy. NRO “wins” by ducking out of the fight. Simberg, Steyn, and the CEI all continue.

    I simply wonder if NRO would have re-entered the long slow appeals process again, had the lower court ruled against NRO as an innocent publisher of the (perhaps malicious and reckless) Steyn essay. What, if anything, would it take for NRO to actually stand up and fight for their own free speech?

    1. There was no difference between NR’s and CEI’s legal strategy. It should have been dismissed immediately under anti-SLAPP, but the first trial judge was incompetent (she couldn’t even distinguish between the two cases) and then retired. It made sense to appeal, because the ruling was so outrageous. We had no idea that the appellate court would take so long (probably because it was such a politicized case in DC). The difference between NR’s and CEI’s case is that Mark separated from NR in a dispute over the strategy; he wanted to go to trial. So it made sense for NR to ask for summary judgment on the fact that they were not the publisher (in an editorial sense) and Mark was no longer even part of their case. CEI and I remain co-defendants. Now that we’ve been through discovery, Mann’s case has completely fallen apart, and we are expecting the judge to recognize that.

      1. As I said elsewhere, one good thing that will eventually come out of this is that Mann will find it tougher to just say “I’m not paying” when he loses, like he did in Canada.

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