With Roe v. Wade off his checklist, controversial Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is now targeting what he perceives as another liberal foe: The media.
Thomas, who is still angry at the media over their coverage of his 1991 confirmation hearing amid sexual misconduct accusations by one of his clerks, expressed his desire to revisit a landmark 1964 ruling that makes it relatively difficult to bring successful lawsuits against media outlets for defamation in a dissenting statement on Monday, according to The Hill.
“Thomas’s statement came in response to the court’s decision to turn away an appeal from a Christian nonprofit group who disputed their characterization by the civil rights watchdog group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC),” the news outlet reported.
Right-wing media organization Coral Ridge Ministries sued the SPLC for defamation for listing them as a hate group on their public database, which led to Amazon excluding Coral Ridge as a recipient of charitable contributions from online shoppers.
Thomas was the only dissenting voice from the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the lawsuit, which had been dismissed by lower courts for failing to overcome the decades-old legal standard, established in the landmark 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision.
“This case is one of many showing how New York Times and its progeny have allowed media organizations and interest groups ‘to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity,’” the conservative justice wrote, The Hill reported.
The justice also dissented in another instance where the Supreme Court declined to take up a defamation case against a media outlet last year.