DC appeals court sets oral argument in Trump defamation case for January 2023
It is a week later, and the Maryland Court of Appeals has given its ruling
The Court of Appeals has ruled against President Donald Trump on a defamation lawsuit
Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson ruled that the president is not liable to a woman who sued him after he publicly declared that she had a ‘hateful’ tweet.
The ruling is not unexpected given the fact that, unlike in a normal trial, the jury will not be deciding whether or not Trump said something defamatory.
Instead, the jury will be deciding whether or not Trump was talking entirely about his opinion and was not speaking in his capacity as president. The judge said this was a distinction without a legal difference.
In her ruling, Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said the key issue in the case against Trump was not whether the words attributed to him were libelous or slanderous at all. Instead, the dispute concerned Trump’s capacity to be the president of the United States.
The President, she wrote, is ‘a person who can and does speak about facts, not about what is in his or her mind or heart.’
The ruling does not change the outcome of the case, since the judge said the jury is now also tasked with deciding if the words are defamatory.
Trump has vigorously defended his public remarks about the judge’s son, calling her ‘a disgrace’
Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson ruling against the president in a defamation case.
Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said this week that the judge made it clear that she would not allow Trump to defend the president’s comments in court. She wrote: “As the President notes, I have never suggested that Mrs. Henderson has any ill will against the President. I am satisfied that the President’s remarks do not support a claim in his favor.”
She added: “The jury will also determine whether his statements were false as a matter of law and whether they were made with the requisite intent.”
Although the president’s lawyers will have to defend in court,