Nick Sandmann Fires Back after Judge Tosses Lawsuits against 5 Media Companies, Vows to Appeal

Former Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann has vowed to appeal a recent decision by a judge to toss his defamation lawsuits against five news organizations.

Sandmann has already received settlements from The Washington Post, CNN, and NBC News for undisclosed amounts.

However, U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman dismissed Sandmann’s lawsuits against The New York Times, CBS News, ABC News, Gannett, and Rolling Stone magazine earlier this week.

“Obviously, the ruling yesterday was a disappointment for my family and I,” Sandmann said.

“I’m appealing the decision in the sixth circuit.

“Here’s why: Judge Bertelsmann revisited the statements that I ‘blocked Nathan Phillips’ and ‘would not allow him to retreat.’

“His job was to rule on the legal issue of what those statements were.

“If they were factual claims, I could proceed and a jury would then decide if they were defamatory.

“But if they were opinions, it is protected speech that I cannot sue for.

“The judge ruled that the media companies published opinion.

“The problem is: It isn’t. ‘X did Y’ is very different from ‘I believe X is Y.’

“For example, ‘Sandmann blocked Nathan Phillips’ is a factual claim. ‘I believe Sandmann is a racist’ is protected opinion.

“I should be able to proceed due to the factual claim the defending media companies made which was used in conjunction with negative connotations of racism and harassment that defamed me.

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“I wrote an op-ed recently in which I mentioned defamation cases being an uphill battle.

“This is why.

“There is complete indisputable video evidence along with publications that present falsehoods.

“Nevertheless, I have learned how to be patient and keep the will to move forward.

“I am going to continue on that path.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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