The Supreme Courtroom on Monday rejected MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bid to fend off a defamation lawsuit the voting machine firm Dominion Voting Techniques filed over his far-fetched claims concerning the 2020 presidential election.
The justices’ resolution to not hear the case means a federal decide’s ruling in August 2021 that allowed the lawsuit to maneuver ahead stays in place.
Lindell, a distinguished TV salesman for the pillows his firm makes, is an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Dominion sued Lindell and MyPillow in February 2021, claiming $1.3 billion in damages and alleging that Lindell purposely pushed the “large lie” that Trump gained the 2020 election. Lindell repeatedly echoed baseless claims that Dominion’s machines manipulated vote counts to make sure that Joe Biden defeated Trump. The claims have been extensively debunked. Within the lawsuit, Dominion argues that Lindell knew his claims had been false, whereas Lindell’s attorneys say he genuinely believes them.
“Lindell asserts in the present day, as he did all through the related interval, that his statements relating to Dominion, its voting machines, and the integrity of the tabulation had been, and proceed to be, legitimate, correct, and true,” Lindell’s attorneys wrote in courtroom papers.
Lindell had unsuccessfully requested U.S. District Choose Carl Nichols of Washington, D.C., to permit him to enchantment two authorized questions associated to the landmark 1964 Supreme Courtroom defamation ruling in New York Occasions v. Sullivan, which concluded that there should be proof of “precise malice” for a public determine to pursue a defamation declare. Lindell argues that Dominion is a public determine as a result of it performs a authorities operate in elections and that due to this fact the “precise malice” normal applies. His attorneys argue that as a result of Lindell genuinely believes in his claims, there was no “precise malice” and that due to this fact the lawsuit must be dismissed.
Dominion additionally sued Trump allies Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani for defamation. Nichols allowed these claims to maneuver ahead, as nicely, however Powell and Giuliani weren’t concerned in Lindell’s Supreme Courtroom enchantment.
In a separate case, Nichols in Might threw out Lindell’s personal defamation lawsuit towards Dominion and Smartmatic, one other voting machine firm. Dominion and Smartmatic have additionally filed related defamation lawsuits towards Fox Information and different conservative media shops.
Two conservative justices — Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch — have recommended that the 1964 defamation precedent, which makes it more durable for public figures to deliver defamation claims, must be overturned.