No, Roy Moore Isn’t Going to Sue Anyone

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Just to state it explicitly, there is absolutely no way Roy Moore is going to sue the Washington Post over their reporting on his dating teenagers when he was in his early thirties. This is likely obvious to most. But I wanted to make it clear in case there’s any question. As a public figure, the standard Moore would have to meet to sustain a suit is all be impossible. Particularly, as a candidate in a major election, his behavior is inherently newsworthy and closest to the more civically important forms of speech. Even if you assume for the sake of conversation that all the accusers are lying, that wouldn’t be enough for Moore to win a suit. Since he is a public figure he would have to show actual malice in the Post’s reporting. That essentially means that the Post knew the allegations were false or had a reckless disregard for the truth, simply didn’t care. The depth of the sourcing which is visible in the story makes that all but impossible. Moore knows all this. This is just a way to signal to low information voters or ones desperate to believe him that he’s fighting the charges rather than admitting their truth. He’s not suing anyone.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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