Lawsuit Update: Good News from the California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court has just ruled in favor of Stanley Wilson’s defamation and race discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, CNN. This is good news for me and for people who care about free speech rights for cartoonists and other journalists because the California Supreme Court agreed to hear my case against the LA Times — specifically the anti-SLAPP portion of the case — as a “grant and hold” petition pending the outcome of Wilson v CNN, which is similar in several important respects.

The opinion just came out today so my attorneys and I are still reviewing it. So far the main takeaways appear to be this:

The court is clearly trying to provide guidance to confused lower courts on the state anti-SLAPP statute. For example, if you followed my case you know that the Court of Appeal justice who ruled against me left us gobsmacked when she claimed ignorance of a key proviso of the law, the rule that at this stage in the case all the allegations of the plaintiff are assumed to be true for the purpose of evaluating whether or not it is viable under prong two of the statute. The Wilson opinion clearly states upfront that this is absolutely the law in the state of California. Given the fact that that did not happen at the trial court or appellate court levels in my case, that bodes well for me.

The court is also concerned about media companies trying to use anti-SLAPP as a way to get rid of all complaints, whether legitimate or frivolous. In a very clear, intelligently reasoned opinion, the justices in a unanimous decision said that CNN and other media companies like the LA Times cannot avoid exposure for their crimes merely because they have First Amendment protections. That overturns the reasoning of the decisions that went against me at the trial and appellate court levels.

Even in the minutiae of anti-SLAPP, point by point, the Wilson opinion reads like a refutation of the LA Times’ defense against me.

So what happens next? There are several possibilities.

The court may remand — send back — my case to the Court of Appeal with orders to take the Wilson decision into account. If they fail to do so, we can appeal back to the Supreme Court to be heard there. If they do, the Times can appeal but it’s unlikely that they would accept their appeal.

Alternatively, the court may schedule oral arguments in my case at the supreme court level. Obviously that would be more efficient and help move along a case that, thanks to the ass-dragging of a lawyer who charges $715 an hour, has been in the courts for 3 1/2 years, all of them dedicated to preliminary hearings under anti-SLAPP.

Once we get past anti-SLAPP, discovery, subpoenas, etc. will begin. Then we can finally start digging to the bottom of the corrupt relationship between the LAPD, the LAPPL pension fund, Tribune Publishing, the Los Angeles Times, current LA school superintendent Austin Beutner, and biotechnology billionaire doctor Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong that led to the LAPD ordering my firing and the LA Times using bogus evidence to carry it out and smear my name even after they became 100% certain that they were wrong.

Thank you so much to the people and organizations who have and are supporting me throughout this fight.

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.

6 thoughts on “Lawsuit Update: Good News from the California Supreme Court

  1. Great news, Ted.

    With all the other stuff going on in your personal life you deserve a break.

    I’m happy this LAT thing is starting to look good for you.

    • Thank you, Glenn. I am sad that my mom went into the fog of dementia never understanding that things have turned around and that my reputation will likely be cleared.

  2. Christ, Ted ; I can’t but be reminded of the adventures of Betty Boop, always rescued at the last second ! Let us hope that this California Supreme Court decision helps to bring this adventure at long last to a satisfactory conclusion, for you and for all that are attempting to defend freedom of expression in your country from total corporate control….

    Henri

    • Henri,

      Betty Boop? That low-rent oxy-fiend? She’s public domain. Ted’s TM-ed all the way. All the way, baby. I’m waiting for Pepsi to put his face on a Happy Meal box.

      So tune in next time. As you may recall, we left our hero superglued to a toilet, with the room filling slowly with radioactive wasps, and only 3% on his phone. Will this be the end for Ted? Will he out-Elvis Elvis? Tune in to see “Flush with Power” or “Waspish Behavior.”

  3. This is fantastic! I’m so happy for you, Ted.

    It just now dawned on me (possibly it has before, but I don’t recall it)…

    Since you now get to have discovery, a lot of dirt is going to come out. All the people involved in this are going to be asked for explanations of their behaviors, and none of those explanations (at least from the information I have been exposed to) are going to really fly.

    Can you imagine how insufferable you’re going to be if you win this thing? I mean, you’re already a colossal pain in the ass for bringing up all the shit that people don’t want to admit. And when you were right about Hillary Clinton, murderer of brown children, first of her husband’s name, breaker of middle-class backs, devotee of Henry Kissinger, and queen of white feminism, that must have stuck in a lot of people’s craws because they were all so certain she was going to win, and none of them did any actual research. So they wrote you off as a crank, and then had it shoved right back down their throats that they’d been wrong, wrong, wrong.

    And now you’re going to not just prove that you got dragged into a cornfield by a bunch of owned journalists at the behest of the LAPD, you’re also going to have the entire silent record of all the “good Germans” in the media who reported nothing about it the entire time? (What’s MLK’s line about the silence of our friends?)

    Dear God in Heaven. It’s one thing to be right. But to be right over and over, especially about things that sound crazy when asserted? While nearly your entire band of colleagues sings louder as the train goes by? And to then win a fight against a major (and majorly corrupt) police department that exposes one of the major newspapers of the nation as being little more than willing servants to big money?

    Oh my.

    You probably don’t plan to retire, but you might as well. How are you going to top this? Find the Zodiac Killer (hint: it’s Ted Cruz)?

    • Lol Alex, I certainly do intend to become the biggest pain in the ass ever. It’s my nature. My duty. My job. I will fight this thing all the way and I will indeed expose as many of the miscreants as possible.