Breaking News: The Democratic Daily has just received word that Sherwood vs. Kerry has been dismissed…
Yesterday, in a true victory against the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” the Federal Court in Philadelphia issued a decision dismissing a defamation case brought by Carlton Sherwood against Senator John Kerry and his Pennsylvania campaign manager Anthony Podesta.
The complaint had alleged that the Democratic National Committee and others sought to prevent Sherwood during the 2004 Presidential Campaign from distributing a movie entitled “Stolen Honor,” which dealt with Sherwood’s views of the Senator’s conduct after his military service during the Vietnam War.
The case was “dismissed with prejudice.” A “dismissed with prejudice” ruling means that Carlton Sherwood can never bring another lawsuit against John Kerry on this topic again.
Last October, I had reported here on the lawsuit:
“Carlton Sherwood and his band of twisted cohorts who defamed John Kerry, are suing John Kerry and a former campaign staffer, claiming that they defamed him.”
The “dismissed with prejudice” ruling is a true victory against Sherwood and his right wing crew of liars and it proves the point that the progressive grassroots was right to stand up to Sinclair Broadcasting in 2004.
Everyone in the progressive grassroots should make it clear: We were right to stand up to Sinclair Broadcasting in 2004 and we were right to reject the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” twisted, distorted view of patriotism.
The real debate in this case is about Iraq and dissent. That is why Carlton Sherwood and his band of liars hate John Kerry. The federal court in Philadelphia did the right thing and acted responsibly to shut them down.
A complete copy of the ruling from the court is available here in PDF.
UPDATE: AP NEWS Reports:
U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam said he found no evidence that Kerry personally made any of the statements, and furthermore, found that they were protected opinions.
“I do not believe any of these statements are actionable since they constitute expressions of opinion, and must be viewed in the context of a hard-fought political campaign,” Fullam wrote in a ruling issued Thursday.
“More importantly, I am not aware of any basis for holding a political candidate personally responsible for statements made in press releases issued by his party’s national committee,” the judge wrote.
UPDATE 2: From the Boston Herald:
“The courts will not be hijacked by Mr. Sherwood’s personal agenda,” Kerry spokesman David Wade said Friday. “John Kerry will continue to speak out about the best direction for our country and the real interests of Americas’ men and women in uniform.”
Sherwood, who once worked for former Gov. Tom Ridge, did not immediately return a message left Friday at his home near Harrisburg. His lawyer, Howard Scher of Philadelphia, said no decision has been made about whether to appeal.
The judge said that Sherwood’s suit focused more on decades-old anti-war activities than it did on the alleged defamation, and noted its self-congratulatory tone in referring to Sherwood “at length, as an award-winning journalist of great integrity and renown.”
In asking Fullam to dismiss the suit, Kerry’s lawyers earlier this year argued, “Presidential campaigns are not for the faint of heart.”