There’s good news today for Donald Trump, and bad news for everyone who dreads the president’s infamous Twitter account.
The Daily Caller reports that an appeals court in New York has just sided with Trump and ruled that a disgruntled GOP politico is not entitled to monetary damages just because the president bashed her on Twitter:
The decision was made after Republican strategist Cheryl Jacobus accused the president of sending a “virtual mob” to attack her after she went on national television and questioned whether he was fit for office. In response, Trump called her a “real dummy!”, “major loser” and claimed she “begged” him for a job on his campaign, despite her insistences that she didn’t.
Jacobus was seeking $4 million in damages against Trump. Her lawyer, Jay Butterman, said Tuesday was “not a happy day for democracy”.
A five-judge panel reached the verdict Tuesday in Manhattan, agreeing with New York Judge Barbara Jaffe who defended Trump’s “intemperate tweets” as protected by the First Amendment, despite chastising them as intending to “belittle and demean.”
The appeals court wrote that Trump’s tweets were “too vague, subjective and lacking precise meaning” to qualify as defamatory and were protected speech.
I don’t know what the truth is of the he-said/she-said regarding whether she sought a job with the Trump campaign, but I have a very specific reason for being skeptical of her side…
If Jacobus’ name sounds familiar, that might be because back in October, I wrote about an encounter I had with her on Twitter. So today’s news comes as more than a little hilarious, considering that “virtual mob” perfectly describes the torrent of hate her followers spewed at me, and that Jacobus herself said a lot of things about me and other Trump-voting conservatives — calling me a racist, a white supremacist, a misogynist, and a defender of sexual assault — that are by any objective measure more defamatory than what Trump said about her.
Now, obviously I didn’t sue and wouldn’t sew her for these blatant lies. There’s a worthwhile conversation to be had over whether politicians should face legal penalties for more specific slanders, such as former Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid falsely suggesting Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes, but the criminalization of any political figure merely saying mean things about people would be an unnecessary and dangerous mess on free speech grounds.
What do you think about all of this? Sound off in the comments below!