February 15, 2012 |
The Obama administration is requiring health insurers to cover contraception, even for employees of Catholic institutions that are opposed to the practice. Most of the Republican presidential candidates have characterized that as an assault on the cherished American doctrine of religious liberty. Rick Santorum recently accused the president and others of trying to "marginalize faith," going so far as to suggest that American Christians are on their way to the guillotine. Such talk amounts to rank hypocrisy.
January 28, 2011 |
A federal judge in Philadelphia has dismissed a claim by Carl R. Greene, the ousted executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, that he had been defamed by the PHA chairman, former Mayor John F. Street. Street had described Greene to the press and PHA board as a "serial sexual harasser. " But in a decision issued Jan. 20, U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter said Street, as PHA's chairman, was a "high public official" who had immunity. The judge also dismissed Greene's assertion that his employment contract amounted to a property interest, and that he had been denied his due process to defend it. But Buckwalter signaled that Greene might have a claim regarding his due process to protect his reputation.
July 2, 1997 |
A Philadelphia judge has overturned a $10.25 million jury award to a former Hill School teacher who said he was defamed by rumors of sexual misconduct while working at the prestigious private school in Pottstown. In 1995, a Common Pleas Court jury awarded the damages to Wendell K. Chestnut, saying he had been harmed by remarks made by a former Hill School headmaster. It was the second-largest defamation award in Pennsylvania history. Judge G. Craig Lord, who presided over the trial, strongly disagreed with the jury's findings in a 45-page opinion filed Monday.
July 1, 2003 |
Melanie Hopkins, the fiancee and longtime aide of the late City Councilman W. Thacher Longstreth, announced yesterday that she planned to file numerous lawsuits, alleging she was defamed. Hopkins said that she would sue "those who have defamed me for their own ends" earlier this year during Longstreth's final weeks of deteriorating health, when a bitter court battle pitted Hopkins against his children. Her attorney, B. Adam Sagan of Trevose, declined to say precisely whom Hopkins planned to sue but indicated that the lawsuits would include Philadelphia reporters, news media outlets, and possibly Longstreth's children.
March 16, 2005 |
Former California congressman Gary Condit has settled an $11 million defamation lawsuit he filed against Dominick Dunne for comments the writer and Vanity Fair correspondent made about Condit's alleged role in the '01 disappearance of intern Chandra Levy, whose body was found in a park in Washington in May 2002. According to the Sacramento Bee, Dunne, who must pay an undisclosed sum and issue an apology, said in a statement that he did "not say or intend to imply that Mr. Condit was complicit in her disappearance, and to the extent my comments may have been misinterpreted, I apologize for them.
March 22, 2014 |
State Attorney General Kathleen Kane has hired one of the most feared litigators in the region, Richard A. Sprague, to represent her in possible defamation suits arising from accounts of her decision to end an undercover investigation that taped at least five Philadelphia Democrats accepting cash or gifts. Sprague said he would launch an investigation into the conduct of the prosecutors who ran that sting operation, which began in 2010 before Kane took office. She has said the case was mismanaged, possibly tainted by racial profiling, and far too weak for any prosecutions.
April 14, 2006 |
Lance Armstrong's defamation trial ended yesterday after charges were withdrawn by Italian cyclist Filippo Simeoni. Armstrong also withdrew his defamation action against Simeoni, the lawyer for the Tour de France great said. Neither cyclist was at the court in Latina, near Rome. "The case is over after both actions have been withdrawn," lawyer Enrico Nan said. Simeoni brought defamation charges against Armstrong following an April 2003 report in the French newspaper Le Monde.
September 7, 1988 |
Newspapers nationwide shut down their presses yesterday in a one-day strike against legislation that Indian journalists say would make defamation laws so strong that much political reporting - and virtually all investigative reporting - would become impossible. "This defamation bill is nothing but censorship in disguise," said Hiranmay Karlekar, senior editor of the Indian Express newspaper and spokesman for the Coordination Committee of the National Press. "The government set out to browbeat a vibrantly free press," he said yesterday, "and we will not allow it. " Among the most objectionable provisions of the bill, journalists say, are those that would make it a crime, punishable by up to two years in prison, to publish "scurrilous" allegations of criminal wrongdoing by public officials; that would put the burden of proof in defamation cases entirely on the press, and that would forbid reporting on meetings from which reporters have been officially barred.
May 1, 2014 |
A defamation lawsuit by union leader John J. Dougherty against The Inquirer's editorial page staff and a former columnist has been dismissed by a Philadelphia judge. In a ruling Monday, Common Pleas Court Judge Lisa M. Rau wrote that the 2008 editorials and an opinion column by Monica Yant Kinney questioning Dougherty's suitability as a Democratic candidate for the state Senate were not defamatory. "Public comment and debate during an election is at the heart of our electoral system; without it, democracy cannot survive," Rau wrote.
June 13, 1991 |
A former Hainesport police officer is suing another former officer and the township, charging defamation of character and civil rights violations that stem from allegations that he intimidated a witness. Daniel Chernavsky, who was a Hainesport sergeant until the department disbanded May 1, contends in his suit that in July 1990 former Hainesport Sgt. Walt Wilson falsely told a judge and an officer in the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office that Chernavsky had talked an alleged crime victim out of pursuing criminal charges.