Judge Tosses Covington Catholic Teen's First Lawsuit

Libel case appears far from over, as Nicholas Sandmann is certain to appeal.

Political Editors · Jul. 30, 2019

Federal Judge William Bertelsman on Friday dismissed the $250 million lawsuit Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann had filed against The Washington Post over its libelous reporting of the infamous “Native American” confrontation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this past January. Recall that much of the mainstream media initially parroted erroneous social-media commentary on the confrontation, which labeled the MAGA-hat-wearing school boys as a bunch of Trump-loving racists. In reality, it was the teens who were subjected to racial slurs and verbal abuse from adults.

Bertelsman ruled that the Post was merely expressing an opinion when it covered the story and that Sandmann did not prove the Post published definitely false statements against him, acted negligently, or damaged him by exposing him to “public hatred, ridicule, contempt, aversion, or disgrace.” So, what exactly was this judge looking at?

The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland argues that Sandmann and his attorneys have a good case to appeal this ruling. “On appeal, Sandmann’s attorneys are likely to focus on three points — all of which justify reversal,” she writes. “First, at the motion to dismiss stage, the question is whether a reasonable jury could conclude the statements were of fact and not opinion. Second, and relatedly, the common understanding of these words are all a matter of fact, and the videos prove they are false facts. Third, the Post’s editorial correction confirms that the newspaper was reporting ‘facts’ and not opinions concerning the encounter.”

It does appear that this case is far from over, and that the Post is nowhere near out of the woods for its downright fraudulent reporting. And CNN is in even hotter water…

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