A Kentucky judge on Thursday dismissed a defamation lawsuit against presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on grounds of sovereign immunity, a doctrine that states “the U.S. government or those acting on its behalf may not be sued without its consent.”
Only Warren and Rep. Deborah Haaland, D.-N.M., were dismissed from the suit. “Sovereign immunity ‘extends to agencies of the United States’ or ‘federal officers [acting] in their official capacities,'” the decision by District Judge William O. Bertelsman read.
The lawsuit was filed by eight Covington Catholic High School students after the 2020 presidential contender smeared them on Twitter.
Thanks to the sloppy, one-sided reporting of the agenda-driven media, a group of Catholic high school teenagers and their families became the subjects of threats and harassment from a hateful online outrage mob back in January.
While they were waiting for their bus, a black separatist fringe group known for making outrageous, racist, anti-gay statements, went on a lengthy tirade against them. In the midst of this, a group of Native American activists from the American Indian Movement began to march toward the boys. Videos that emerged online suggest that the kids were targeted because some were wearing red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats associated with President Trump.
Nathan Phillips, the leader of the group marched directly up to one teen who was standing quietly, and began drumming and chanting loudly inches from his face. Not knowing quite what to do, the boy, 16-year old Nicholas Sandmann, stood his ground and smiled at the activist. A short video of that confrontation appeared online, misrepresenting what happened. Then, the media published stories based on Phillips’ lies, without bothering to view more complete video evidence, or interview any of the other witnesses who were there.
“Omaha elder and Vietnam War veteran Nathan Phillips endured hateful taunts with dignity and strength, then urged us all to do better,” Warren wrote in her tweet, which remains on Twitter even though it has been proven to be 100 percent false.
Omaha elder and Vietnam War veteran Nathan Phillips endured hateful taunts with dignity and strength, then urged us all to do better.
Listen to his words: https://t.co/ymHRxVA91K
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 20, 2019
Native American activist Nathan Phillips is neither a Vietnam vet, nor is he a victim of hateful taunts from the Covington Catholic kids. He lied repeatedly to reporters about his service in Vietnam and about what happened that day. Meanwhile, never-Trump politicians and media amplified his lies without bothering to fact-check them.
In truth, the only dignity and strength that was on display that day was that of Nicholas Sandmann, who did his best to show respect during what must have been a stressful and bewildering ordeal for him.
A different federal judge in Kentucky last month partially reopened Sandmann’s $250 million defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post and other media outlets.
The new ruling, by District Judge William O. Bertelsman, is based on an amended complaint filed by Sandmann’s legal team. The decision permitted Sandmann to obtain documents from The Post during an upcoming discovery process, as his lawyers have sought to argue that the paper negligently reported on Sandmann’s interactions with a Native American man, Nathan Phillips, while the student wore a red “Make America Great Again” hat and stood outside the Lincoln Memorial in January.
It remains to be seen what will happen in those cases, but powerful politicians like Sen. Warren apparently have the right to slander innocent high school kids with impunity thanks to “sovereign immunity.”