MTPR

Federal Judge Allows Whitefish Lawsuit Against Neo-Nazi Publisher To Proceed

Nov 14, 2018

A federal judge in Montana says the First Amendment does not shield a neo-Nazi website publisher from being sued for telling his readers to unleash a "troll storm" that led to anti-Semitic threats against a Jewish woman and her family in Whitefish.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled Wednesday that Tanya Gersh's lawsuit against The Daily Stormer's Andrew Anglin can proceed. 

Gersh says hundreds of people harassed and threatened her family online and by phone and mail after Anglin accused her of trying to force the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer out of the Montana town of Whitefish in 2016.

Anglin argued that the First Amendment protects his speech and that he can't be held liable for his followers' actions.

John Morrison, an attorney for Tanya Gersh says the judge’s ruling upholds the argument Gersh has been making since she filed her lawsuit against Anglin.

"Online campaigns of hate, threats and intimidation have no place in a civil society, and do not enjoy protection under our constitution," Morrison says.  

Christensen upheld a magistrate judge's recommendation to reject Anglin's request to dismiss the lawsuit.