Mike Lindell’s appeal denied by Supreme Court, will face Dominion defamation suit

MyPillow CEO had sought to toss out massive suit from voting machine manufacturer

John Bowden
Washington DC
Monday 03 October 2022 16:29 BST
Mike Lindell leaves stage at 'Cyber Symposium' after losing Dominion lawsuit

Mike Lindell will join Fox News and other targets of Dominion Voting System’s retribution for the false claims, conspiracies and nonsense spread about the company by Trump supporters in 2020.

That was the result of a decision by the Supreme Court on Monday to deny Mr Lindell’s appeal of a lower court decision determining that the company’s lawsuit against him could go forward. Mr Lindell, a top supporter of Donald Trump, has long claimed that Dominion’s machines were hacked or otherwise used maliciously to change the results of the 2020 election; he has presented zero proof of this, but unlike other past purveyors of these conspiracies has continued to espouse nonsense about 2020 nearly two years after the election itself.

Mr Lindell had sought to block the costly suit — seeking damages of $1.3bn — on grounds that political speech is protected by the First Amendment. A lower court had ruled that the standard did not apply to obviously false statements, and today’s ruling in effect upholds that decision.

Dominion Voting Systems and its litigious efforts continue to dog those who supported the conspiracies about 2020 that led to the attack on the Capitol; Fox News remains a target as well, with the company seeking $1.6bn in a separate bid against the conservative news giant.

Fox’s reps have cast that suit, similarly, as an attack on the press and free speech despite its news side failing to stem the tide of nonsense conspiracies being openly embraced by the opinion side. In one damning moment, the network’s still-employed journalist Bill Hemmer quipped on-air that the conspiracies “sounded convincing”.

"We are confident we will prevail as freedom of the press is foundational to our democracy and must be protected, in addition to the damages claims being outrageous, unsupported and not rooted in sound financial analysis, serving as nothing more than a flagrant attempt to deter our journalists from doing their jobs.”

One clear effect of the lawsuits so far has been a chilling effect on conservative media as a whole as it relates to 2020 conspiracies. News networks like Fox and Newsmax have been hesitant to platform individuals like Mr Lindell and others who supported Mr Trump’s 2020 conspiracies for fear of further provoking legal retribution.

That chilling effect has enraged supporters of Mr Trump, who have viewed the abandonment of the conspiracies by those networks as a betrayal of the former president and his movement.

Mr Lindell’s efforts to prove his case against Dominion will likely hinge on the definition of defamation itself, as his claims cannot possibly be proven true. A former attorney for the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani, was revealed earlier this year to have secretly told lawmakers in Arizona that he had no evidence for the claims the Trump team was pushing, and Mr Lindell has failed to materialise any evidence as well.

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