A re-examination of the strength of Alvin Bragg's Trump indictment; a partial victory for Dominion Voting Systems; a look at when the government can seize and slaughter your goat.
We’re back with another episode of Serious Trouble!
We start by looking at developments in Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox News, which will imminently go to trial in Delaware. Dominion partially prevailed in its motion for summary judgment — Judge Eric Davis ruled various statements made on Fox News were false, were of and concerning Dominion, and were defamation per se. He did not rule on whether the statements were made with “actual malice” — the high requirement that must be met for Fox to be liable — and he didn’t rule on the extent of Dominion’s damages. Those will be questions for a jury. He also sanctioned Fox for failing to turn over important information.
These are all favorable outcomes for Dominion. But as we saw a few months ago in the Tesla shareholder lawsuit against Elon Musk, it’s possible to win big on the pre-trial motions and still lose at trial. We discussed that outlook as the parties proceed into jury selection.
We also talked about a goat. You have probably read about Cedar, the goat that the Shasta County Fair Board had seized and killed after the young girl who was raising him decided she didn’t want to give him up for slaughter. The girl and her mother are suing, alleging violations of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth amendments. Ken describes why they’re going to have a tough time getting relief in court.
And for paying subscribers, we have more conversation about Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s indictment of former president Donald Trump. Listener Patrick Frey () has a long post arguing that the case, if not necessarily strong, looks stronger than commentators (including us) have given it credit for. We respond to some of your comments raising questions and theories about how Bragg might prove Trump specifically made the hush payments for a campaign purpose, relying on evidence other than Michael Cohen’s word.
There’s a “there” that one can imagine being there — but as with the John Edwards case, a lot will rely in any case on the sentiments of the jury, which won’t necessarily align with the letter of the law.
We hope you enjoy the episode.