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"Civil lawsuit for hate speech" Topic

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895 hits since 28 Dec 2014
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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2014 12:13 p.m. PST

For those who know american law.
From what I gather if a person is on the border line of inciting violence, But can not be indited on crinal charges.
And say a person in his "group" kills a person that the first person has "encuraged" kill (religous/ethnic groups ect)

That first person is liable for a civil lawsuit by the family of the killed?

But has this happend?

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2014 2:14 p.m. PST

Yes but very difficult to prove. Otherwise Limbaugh and Beck would be dead broke.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2014 3:48 p.m. PST

You may be familiar with the line "It doesn't matter what I believe, it only matters what I can prove!" , to which should be added, "…and what I can convince a jury of!"

Remember that there is Federal law, and then there are 50 separate states that have their own laws. Some states allow you to file suit with only the slimmest of pretenses, others are more stringent. Also, states have different thresholds and even definitions for what what constitutes things like liability, negligence, slander, etc. And of course, certain things that are perfectly legal or allowable in one state may be illegal or subject to civil action in another state.

That all being said, I don't know specifically if it has happened, but it wouldn't shock me. Many racist groups and individuals have taken a beating in civil court at the hands of former victims.

*from A Few Good Men

Streitax Inactive Member28 Dec 2014 8:13 p.m. PST

Oh Skippy, why limit your list to the radical right. The radical left is just as guilty of hyperbole and blood lust.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2014 8:43 p.m. PST


You're saying that your first thought when you hear "…racist groups and individuals…" is that they are right wingers?

Strange, I thought he meant what he said. As an example, note the recent (one of many over the past few years as noted in the article): link


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2014 8:47 p.m. PST

Otherwise Limbaugh and Beck would be dead broke.

Didn't you really mean to say "Otherwise Al Sharpton would be serving a life term in prison"?

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Dec 2014 9:32 p.m. PST

"You're saying that your first thought when you hear "…racist groups and individuals…" is that they are right wingers?"

It seems that his first thought when he read "Limbaugh and Beck" was right wingers. He didn't address Gunfreak, he addressed Skippy.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2014 9:42 p.m. PST

Streitax&John the OFM-

I agree with both of you, I rate them by how loud they are.


Streitax Inactive Member28 Dec 2014 11:17 p.m. PST

@ Dan Cyr, as Pictors Studio said, I was referring to his specifically listing Limbaugh and Beck.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2014 12:44 a.m. PST

Let's not forget that just last week Rush ridiculed the idea if Idris Ilba playing James Bond. He said it was as ridiculous as George Clooney and Kate Hudson playing Barack and Michelle Obama.
Racist swine. Next thing you know he will be saying that Shaquille O'Neill or Mark Henry would be wrong for Peter Pan.

Streitax Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 4:49 a.m. PST

Well, Shaquille IS a bit old for the part.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 1:24 p.m. PST

To the point raised initially. While I suppose such a situation could come to pass. I'm not sure just how it would. As often as some howl over others speech here in the U.S. It still is possible to be a Nazi or a Communist here. I see those as opposites. So the radical extremes. It's also easy to speak in the most outrageously hateful tones here. I've yet to hear of anyone being successfully sued over such.
Consider this. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was not written to ensure the right to say things most agree with. It was put in place to ensure the right to say most anything. Especially that which the powers that be abhor.
I see this as a very good thing. We can see and hear the true haters in our society. And we can then consider our response based on certain knowledge.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2014 3:13 p.m. PST

and windage…:)

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 3:35 p.m. PST

Always remember the windage. And to lead a moving target.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Dec 2014 6:05 p.m. PST

Rrobbyrobot is right about letting those people speak. If you can't hear what they are saying publicly it doesn't mean they aren't saying it. It just means they are saying it underground.

It is as much a relief valve on those feelings for people as it is a means to combat them.

zoneofcontrol29 Dec 2014 6:59 p.m. PST

A recent example of the OP comes out of the situation in Ferguson, MO. The father (step-father?) of the man killed in the police incident may come under investigation for inciting the protesters after using a megaphone to urge them to burn down the town (paraphrasing – the actual video/audio was in the news). They did just that and officials later said they would investigate. If followed through both criminal and civil charges could well result.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2014 9:16 p.m. PST

Gunfreak isn't talking about making hate speech illegal. He actually frames a pretty realistic set of circumstances. Someone encourages violence or murder but in such a way as to avoid criminal indictment. Can their victims or the victims' family bring civil suit?

As I said, I know various Klan organizations have been on the losing end of civil actions, not necessarily for murder, but for other violent and terroristic acts. It turns out that an Aryan group was successfully sued when affiliate members murdered an Ethiopian student. The Aryan leaders didn't explicitly order the murder, but generally advocated the killing of blacks, Jews, etc., as "civic duty".

Dn Jackson30 Dec 2014 10:16 a.m. PST

Al Sharpton was successfully sued over his statements in the Tawany Brawley <sic> hoax. I can't remember if he also lost a suit due to his actions at Freddy's Fashion Mart.

As for Limbaugh and Beck, please let me know if you can actually show that they've EVER advocated violence against anyone.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 12:01 p.m. PST

Sharpton was indeed successfully sued. He hasn't paid a dime of it, which kind of brings into question the adverb "successfully".

Mako11 Inactive Member06 Jan 2015 2:42 p.m. PST

You can bring a lawsuit in the USA, for anything.

Winning is another matter.

The key to winning is a sympathetic jury.

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