Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Newdow's Libel Suit Survives SLAPP Motion

Yesterday in Newdow v. Miles, (CA Ct. App., Oct. 24, 2006), a California appellate court rejected a motion to dismiss a libel action filed by Michael Newdow against Austin Miles, an"interdenominational chaplain", growing out of statements made by Miles in an Internet posting. Miles claimed that Newdow committed perjury in Newdow's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the phrase "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. Newdow says that the testimony attributed to him was fabricated by Miles. Miles moved to dismiss the lawsuit under California' SLAPP law that is designed to prevent using defamation actions to silence speech on controversial public issues. The court found that Newdow had made a sufficient prima facie showing of facts that support his claim to avoid dismissal under the statute. [Thanks to How Appealing for the lead.]