220px-Washington_Post_buildingBelow is my column in USA Today on the last remaining promise for Roy Moore to fulfill from his campaign: his promised defamation lawsuit.  Unless he and his lawyers were using the pledge to sue as a deflection from the merits of the allegations, it is time for Moore to make good on the promise and file.  Of course, that will subject him to depositions and discovery but, if he is telling the truth, he has little to fear.  In the meantime, I discussed how Gloria Allred suggested that her client will also sue for defamation.  That would also be welcomed, though Allred will have to significantly improve her legal performance for an actual lawsuit as opposed to her disastrous press conference.  Beverly Young Nelson has said that the lawsuit will definitely happen.

Here is the column:

After weeks of intense and bitter debate, Alabama voters finally rendered a verdict on the political ambitions of Roy Moore, one of the most divisive figures in the history of U.S. politics. Accused by nine women of assaulting or pursuing them when they were girls as young as fourteen, Moore provided a defining moment for voters who had to choose between the moral high ground and the political base. It is now time for a different verdict. As alleged victims began to come forward in the campaign, the former Alabama Chief Justice announced that he would sue The Washington Post for defamation. Now that the campaign is over, Moore can finally prove that he was not lying about either his past or this intent to clear his name.

However, if he sues as promised, he will collide with an infamous case from Alabama from 1964 involving an equally divisive and odious political figure.

For full disclosure, I have been a long-standing critic of Moore — years before any allegations of sexual abuse. Moore was removed from the bench for defying the most basic principles of constitutional law. However, Moore did not take particular offense to being called vehemently anti-homosexual or anti-Muslim. He virtually ran on those labels. Instead he attacked all of these women and witnesses as liars and insisted that he never dated young girls, let alone assaulted them.

Moore’s pledge to sue however seemed less and less believable over the course of the campaign. Such a lawsuit would subject Moore to discovery and depositions on these allegations. Yet, after the women came forward, Moore virtually disappeared from the campaign trail and only sat for a few, low-risk interviews like his interview with a 12-year-old girl. Moore knows that, if he sues, he will not have a starry-eyed middle schooler asking about the job of a Senator, but steely eye litgtators asking about specific allegations of his pursuing young girls when he was a prosecutor in his thirties.

If he sues, Moore would be the latest chapter in a dark history of Alabama defamation actions. Roughly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, where the Court laid out the standard for public officials (and later extended to public figures) in suing critics. In reality, not only would Moore face a daunting challenge in suing The Washington Post under this standard, but the standard was created precisely for this type of politically motivated threat of litigation.


sullivanThe case focused on an advertisement (above) that appeared in the New York Times referring to the abuses of civil rights marchers and claimed that Martin Luther King had been arrested seven times. (He had been arrested four times.) Although not mentioned, Montgomery Public Safety commissioner, L. B. Sullivan sued for defamation and punitive damages. His lawsuit was part of a pattern of such actions by segregationists to use state courts to bleed Northern media to deter their coverage of the Freedom Marchers. Sullivan won under Alabama law in a highly dubious state preceding that awarded $500,000.

225px-HugoLaFayetteBlackThe Supreme Court recognized the danger of such civil liability in creating a chilling effect on reporters and their companies in the coverage of political figures. Imposing a high standard for proof of defamation, Justice William Brennan sought to give the free press “breathing space” to carry out its key function in our system. The court’s most famous Alabamian, Hugo Black (who served as Senator from Alabama before joining the court), added that Alabama politicians were using libel actions to “threaten the very existence of an American press” and “this case emphasizes the imminence and enormity of that threat.”

The “actual malice” standard requires a showing that the newspaper published a false report with either actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth. In the Moore coverage, the Washington Post had multiple alleged victims and supporting witnesses who were identified by name in its coverage. Witnesses include former security guards who have alleged that Moore was such a menace to young girls that he was effectively on a watch list at the local mall and cheerleading events. Moore has not threatened these witnesses, only media. It also includes witnesses from his neighborhood and work who have said that Moore was notorious for his pursuit of young girls. This factual foundation is comfortably above of the standard set out in New York Times v. Sullivan.

Moore v. The Washington Post holds obvious analogies to New York Times v. Sullivan.Alabama is once again ground zero in a national debate over equal rights and prejudice.  If Moore seems to have striking similarities to Sullivan, he has too few similiaties to Black. Black came from a small-town practice like Moore. He was raised in a segregated South and was himself a member of the Ku Klux Klan. However, Black came to renounce the Klan and prejudices as a politician and jurist. While a textualist, Black emerged as one of the court’s greatest advocates for civil liberties. Rather than rally crowds with regressive and divisive rhetoric, Black sought to transcend the demons that plagued his youth in Alabama — culminating in his contribution to New York Times v. Sullivan.

Now Alabama is set for another major defamation lawsuit involving a controversial political figure. One thing is already established. Either nine women (and a host of supporting witnesses) are shameless liars or Moore is. It is time to find out who. It is time for Moore to fulfill his promise and file his lawsuit.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley.


  1. From an on-line humorist, “Bannon plans to tweak his candidate process. Instead of a candidate that dates kids and keeps a horse in the barn, he’s gonna find one that dates horses and keeps a kid in the barn.”
    We’ll enjoy these quips until the corporations limit the internet content we get to see. This week, Trump’s Chair of the FCC eliminated net neutrality without even allowing public comment.

    1. Yes, net neutrality was eliminated. That was fantastic for the consumer and for free speech. Was net neutrality passed by Congress? No. It was passed by executive order. Obama had a pen and Trump has an eraser.

        1. “Yet, not one sane person agrees with your analysis, Allan”

          That is what the insane patients always say to those that don’t have to wear straight jackets and live in rubber rooms..

          The elimination of net neutrality is good for the consumer and free speech.

  2. So the latest word is 1.5% diffrence in the Alabama race. write ins yet to be counted only… get this… 6,666 infinitum needed to get to the one percent requirement of an automatic recount and audit. and that is entirely possible since it’s mostly late coming in military votes but then it’s 13, 334 more to make a change.

    Target date is NLT Jan 3rd which is the day the new Reps and Sens are sworn in.and then there are the voter fraud cases …..

    No matter what the margin is very skinny and there was no great win for either side.

    What we are left with is not one LEA , not one DA not one judge accepted the allegations and on the other side you have the party of ACORN and the Clintons.

    Makes me glad I’m an independent sitting in the middle imagine having to live that party of the woman victimizers down for the rest of your life. and a wicked but deserved come down for what started as the Slave Party.

    The gas has been poured on the fire. Whose going to be first to defend the mensheviks?

      1. David Benson – I know as we get older it is harder to deal with some complex issues, like figuring out the remote, etc. however what ) said made sense to me, so it has to be you. 🙂

      2. David “NPD” Benson

        “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”

        Individuals with this disorder exhibit a lack of ability to empathize with others and an inflated sense of self-importance.


        The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also concentrate on grandiose fantasies (e.g. their own success, beauty, brilliance) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.

        People with narcissistic personality disorder believe they are superior or special, and often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way. This association enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface. Individuals with NPD seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat, and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an “injury” in the form of criticism or rejection.

      3. Good for the Alabama voters who got smart and rejected President Trump’s chief strategist, once they saw his presidential candidate was a fraud.
        Fox viewer support for Trump is in free fall.

        1. I love your reliance upon polling that satisfies your desires. According to the polls, Hillary is completing her first year as President and Trump is back in the investment world making money.

          The only thing wrong with that picture is that Trump is President.

  3. “Bloom’s efforts to get alleged victims of sexual assault or harassment to come out against Trump intensified as Election Day 2016 approached”:

    Amazing, isn’t that what happened to Moore right before his election? What a coincidence! …And it is All In The Family for Bloom and Allred are daughter and mother.

    “Bombshell: Lisa Bloom Sought 6-Figure Payoffs for Donald Trump Accusers

    John Nolte15 Dec 2017

    Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

    Left-wing feminist attorney Lisa Bloom, who represented two of the women who made sexual harassment allegations against President Trump during the 2016 campaign, sought payoffs as high as six figures for her clients, according to the Hill.

    From the beginning, Trump has denied any and all wrongdoing. Moreover, he has argued that the allegations were part of an overall plot to personally destroy his candidacy with lies.

    The Hill obtained contracts and text messages that show Bloom sought to sell the stories of alleged victims to television outlets; one proposed deal included an offer of $750,000 to a woman who eventually declined to come forward. Bloom also sought to convince a donor to pay off the mortgage of a woman who did come forward.

    “The women’s accounts were chronicled in contemporaneous contractual documents, emails and text messages,” the Hill reports, adding that this included “an exchange of texts between one woman and Bloom that suggested political action committees supporting Hillary Clinton were contacted during the effort.”

    One of Trump’s most vocal accusers, makeup artist Jill Harth, received just under $30,000 from an unspecified donor to pay off her mortgage. Bloom also raised an additional $2,300 for Harth using GoFundMe.

    Harth denies the payment was an incentive for her to come forward, even though she had withdrawn a harassment lawsuit against Trump in 1997. Harth is currently writing a book about her experience. The second woman, who did not come forward, also told the Hill that no one asked her to lie.

    However, the Hill reports, on top of the payments, “texts and emails indicate Bloom held a strong dislike of Trump” and that “Bloom’s efforts to get alleged victims of sexual assault or harassment to come out against Trump intensified as Election Day 2016 approached”:

    “Give us a clear sense of what you need and we will see if it we can get it,” Bloom texted the woman a week before Election Day.

    “I’m scared Lisa. I can’t relocate. I don’t like taking other people’s money,” the woman wrote to Bloom.

    “Ok let’s not do this then,” Bloom responded. “We are just about out of time anyway.”

    The woman then texted back demanding to know why there was a deadline. “What does time have to do with this? Time to bury Trump??? You want my story to bury trump for what? Personal gain? See that ‘s why I have trust issues!!”

    Bloom also asked this woman to delete a Facebook post that showed she supported Trump for president. “Otherwise the reporter will ask you how you could support him after what he did to you.”

    Her allegation involves an unsolicited advance at a 1990s beauty contest.

    The woman continued to ask for and receive better offers, from a $10,000 donation to her church to an eventual $780,000 for her. Then came the media offers:

    “Outlets with which I have good relationships that may pay for your first on camera interview, revealing your name and face: Inside Edition, Dr. Phil,,” Bloom texted the woman just weeks before Election Day. “My best estimate of what I could get for you would be $10-15,000 (less our 1/3 attorney fee).”

    “If you are interested I would recommend Inside Edition or Dr. Phil as they are much bigger. Dr. Phil is doing a show on Trump accusers next Tuesday in LA and would fly you here and put you up in a nice hotel, and pay for your meals as well, with your daughter if you like,” Bloom’s text added. “Media moves very quickly so you need to decide and then once confirmed, you need to stick to it.”

    Representatives of “Inside Edition” and “Dr. Phil” said they did not pay any Trump accusers for appearances last year.

    After finally agreeing to go public, the woman ended up in the hospital. As Election Day approached, Bloom persisted and eventually raised her offer to $750,000. The woman declined.

    Reached for comment, Bloom, who makes up to one-third of all monies received by her clients, “acknowledged she engaged in discussions to secure donations for women who made or considered making accusations against Trump before last year’s election.” She denies any wrongdoing.

    Bloom’s mother, left-wing feminist Gloria Allred, also represented a number of Trump’s accusers.

    Earlier this year, Bloom defended the accused serial rapist Harvey Weinstein, a longtime Democrat donor and friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    This week, as the media launched a cynical attempt to again bludgeon Trump with misconduct allegations litigated once already during the 2016 election, NBC’s Megyn Kelly interviewed a woman who accused Trump of asking for her phone number, another who accused Trump of groping her in front of the late Ray Charles (who was blind), and another who said Trump groped her on a passenger plane.”

    1. and then Bloom didn’t address the tax issue. If these women accept money it’s income taxes must be paid filings made etc. the money collection is suspicious on it’s face there are means for cases of being in fear of one’s life consider hillary’s victimizing of women in that context. Looks more like Bloom is trying to do a Klein and come up with money for her fees.

    2. Make da lawyer bad not da perp is da T rumper way. Bloom’s client was 13 when T rump allegedly raped her. T rump met her at da Epstein’s house. Da Epstein partied at da Miralago Believe what you want. In da Palm Beach news.

      1. Ken, A lot of people party at Mar-a-Lago and a lot of people knew Epstein. How much money is Bloom trying to get for this phony story where Bloom get’s a third?

        Some people sell their bodies and are known as prostitutes. You sell your intellect. What do we call you?

  4. Justice Hugo Black, referenced in the post, was an ardent supporter of FDR’s New Deal. He was nominated by a Democrat, FDR.
    Relative to U.S. District Court judgeships, has Trump nominated more qualification-challenged candidates than his predecessors in recent history?

    1. Not to SCOTUS there are no vacancies until Bader-Meinhoff von Gizzard Burger abidicates but on the other federal courts there was an article on the new fast pace of his nomineees being confirmed I suspect when it come up someone like Gowdy wil have to choose between being Pence’s VP or a SCOTUS Justice. Nothing for the Leninists to worry about. the way it works is Preisident nominates Senate confirms. 49 to 51 with a vp to beak the tie or will be in the near future No chance of Pelosi being third in line again. Who knows nothing you can do about it.but prey to Lenin.

    2. Both FDR who finally got shot down trying to pack the court and was a fan of single party progressive socialism imperial presidencies and Black were anti constitutionalists and nothing to brag about.

  5. The “allegations” against Judge Roy Moore are as many as 40 or more years old. His acts may have been taken, to some degree, out of context. What was the attitude of Europeans and Colonists regarding slavery in 1619 vs. the contemporary version? One might conjecture that murder was acceptable before the Ten Commandments, which, by the way, don’t mention an age of consent.

    “Age of Consent Law”

    Wiki –

    United States

    “Over the course of American history, the most commonly observed age of consent was 10 years. In 1880, 37 states had an age of consent of 10 years while 10 states kept an age of consent at 12, and Delaware maintained its age of consent at seven years, having lowered it from 10 in 1871.[23][24]

    In the late-19th century, a “social purity movement” composed of Christian feminist reform groups began advocating a raise in the age of consent to 16, with the goal of raising it ultimately to 18, and by 1920 almost all states had raised their age of consent to 16 or 18.[25]

    By the mid-1970s, there was widespread sympathy among homosexual activist groups for lowering the age of consent for all sexual activities (partially due to the disparate ages of consent for same-sex and opposite-sex sexual activity),[26] with many gay publications freely discussing lowering it for boys.[27] These tensions and antagonisms continued among activist circles until the 1980s; however, since the 1970s, gay liberationist groups promoting frontline advocacy against the age of consent were falling into decline.[26]

    A small number of voices continued into the 2000s among self-declared pedophiles on certain internet websites and chatrooms.[28]

    Two final states legislating their ages of consent into the 15-18 range were Georgia and Hawaii, from 14, raised in 1995 and 2001, respectively.”

  6. The POTUS stated during the campaign all his accusers were liars and promised to sue them when the election was over. I’m curious if Mr. Turley thinks Trump should fulfill that promise since he’s holding Moore accountable?

    1. Are you curious about the result of Professor Turley’s suit against Barry Soetoro for “executive overreach?” If Soetoro were not enjoying “Affirmative Action Privilege,” he would have been impeached for clear usurpation, subversion, etc., which would have changed the entire landscape and President Trump might not have even been elected.

    2. At tis point does it matter.? Or something. In this day and age only Ginzberger pimping for age 12 is going to be remembered.

    3. Did he say WHEN after the election was over? Did Moore say he wouldn’t when this election is over? Which it isn’t. Subjective mysticism doesn’t count in real life. Likewise popularity polls that strange Hillary was counting on for who knows why.

    4. Only 6 of those dems have called on T rump to resign for da attacks on da women. 20 called on Franken who did a piddly amount of touching in compared to what T rump did. What is up with that?

      1. Franken’s abuse to date has been proven correct. Trump’s so-called abuse proven to be lies.

        So many Democrats have been involved in scandals that they don’t want to go down that road. I think that is a wise decision.

  7. It is time for Moore to fulfill his promise and file his lawsuit.

    Why? His career is done. The risks far outweigh the rewards. To borrow from a well known quote:

    Better to remain silent and be thought a perv than to speak out and remove all doubt.

    1. I agree with you, Olly. It is almost an impossible case to win. I think Turley is mad about how Moore conflicts with Turley’s vision of the law so rather than being his usual self, an honest broker, Turley has vented his anger by baiting Moore to sue when Turley as an attorney knows that his advice to his client would be to drop any claims against the accusers even if he felt Moore was being railroaded.

    2. Not quite yet there is still the remaining ballots to be counted and that includeds some enroute that have until Tues to arrive. if those add up to 6,667 it’s an automatic recount and audit. And there are the voter fraud charges. Would those reach an addditional 13, 337. Probably not but the confirmation isn’t expected until Jan 3rd.

      As for his rep? What? Not one police officer, not one DA, not one Judge accepted the allegations as valid.

      What is true is the part of Lenin will be a long time living down the Clintons vicimizing of women and that you will have to live with until the die you die.

      You should have remained silent but you are right and it applies to those who support sex criminals like the Clintons. Deal with it.

  8. Tank God there is not a photo of Allred in the article. Roy should sue the accuser not the reporters or the news paper which reports. Allred is an accusor too. Sue her and the ugly bitch who said he was bad 40 years ago. Also publish the high school photo of the ugly bitch from her yearbook. We can see if she was attractive then. It might make or break her case.

    1. Tut tut tut…The race has not been run but not won and there are still votes to count and you know small shit like that. …the only reason to be panicking is if you really think he may NOT end up in the lead. So .. whatsa matta you no confidence. With the lefts’ record I can see why

      But tht’s just my view from the moderate center.

    1. In the end I agree with your prediction, though I suspect there might be some legal sparring to permit them a face-saving way out of their mess.

        1. Both sides if you are viewing this from the Constitutional Center as a self goverening independent citizen but photo finishes are something to enjoy and this one can easily come down to that.

  9. I’ve concern, unfortunately, that both parties will refuse to concede; supporting the general welfare by simply going away.

    1. Why should they> At present jones is 1.5% and whatever ahead. I thought 20,000 but some are reporting ten. All it takes is one half percent to kick in the automatic recount and audit. So Moore besides being exonerated on what is now a non issue also has no need to concede.There is no rush ….except for those who are getting nervous.

      General Welfare is for once leave the election process alone epecially since no one in this group is from Alabama.

  10. Considering the number of times the WaPo has had to walk back “factual articles” I think Moore has a shot. However, his biggest shot is Nelson and Allred. They get to be deposed, too. And that yearbook can finally be seen by an independent document examiner. I think the ones most at risk are Nelson and Allred.

  11. What’s the big rush. Now me,I’m very interested in seeing the final results of the election especially when it appears the number of absentees in so far exceed the difference, more are being accepted until next Tuesday and the fat lady isn’t gargling warmups yet

  12. If I see another time the video of Roy walking around at a public gathering, pontificating into a mic held in one hand, the other hand waving around a derringer, wearing some ridiculous military T-shirt, I fear I’ll vomit a little bit.

  13. I wish Roy and his wife would ratchet up their appeal to the worst Southern stereotypes, NOT. Turley, would you not be happy if he and his brain dead wife just slithered back in to their Southern Baptist “Christian” (AKA Zionist) hole, and stayed away from the public stage for the rest of their lives?

    1. Kinda reminds me of a bunch of new yawkers that live back east by Europe somewhere. or maybe eight word vocabulary Californicators who end every sentence with a question mark. i can do that for every state in the union where you from?

      Except Washington D.C. I don’t do foreign countries

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