The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who was fighting a Connecticut court sanction in a defamation lawsuit brought by relatives of some of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Jones was penalized in 2019 by a trial court judge for an angry outburst on his web show against an attorney for the relatives and for violating numerous orders to turn over documents to the families’ lawyers. Judge Barbara Bellis barred Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the case, which remains pending, and said she would order Jones to pay some of the families’ legal fees. The Connecticut Supreme Court upheld Bellis’ ruling last year.
Jones argued he should not have been sanctioned for exercising his free speech rights.
But the Connecticut Supreme Court said the sanctions against Jones did not run afoul of the First Amendment because they were imposed due to speech that was an “imminent and likely threat to the administration of justice.” Chief Justice Richard Robinson wrote, “language evoking threats of physical harm is not tolerable.”
The families are suing Jones, Infowars for defamation and infliction of emotional distress. They are seeking damages that have yet to be determined.