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Connecticut defamation ruling against Alex Jones reignites free speech debate

Alex Jones at a Dallas rally
SEAN P. ANDERSON
/
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Alex Jones at a Dallas rally

In a ruling that conspiracy theorist and media personality Alex Jones says shows, “Tyranny is now here in America,” a Connecticut Superior Court judge has sided with the families that brought against a defamation lawsuit against Jones without the case going to trial. The suit stems from claims Jones made but has no retracted Sandy Hook School shootings in 2012 did not really happen. Judge Barbara Bellis issued a default ruling in the lawsuit Monday over the failure of Jones and his legal team to comply with court orders to hand over financial documents.The ruling means Jones and the company Infowars are responsible for paying all damages awarded in the lawsuit, which now moves to the phase of determining damages. Lawyers for Jones say they will appeal.

Jones now acknowledges school children and teachers were killed at the school, but insists his previous claims are clearly protected free speech. And Another Thing reviews the free speech issues raised by the case.

“We need to defend all of our speech rights to say whatever it is we wish. That’s the First Amendment,” Jones said on his InfoWars program, after the ruling.

“Mr. Jones is very used to saying whatever he wants to say from the comfort of his own studio, but what I think this case has shown is that when he is forced to defend his conduct in a court of law and comply with court orders, that it’s a very different ballgame,” said attorney Chris Mattei, a lawyer representing the Sandy Hook families.”

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