Image via WikipediaConservative commentator and blogger Andrew Breitbart and co-defendant Larry O'Connor argued this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that former U.S. Dept. of Agriculture head Shirley Sherrod's defamation suit against them should be tossed on First Amendment grounds.
In her 42-page complaint, Sherrod v. Breibart et al. (Case No. 00015711), the plaintiff claims she was defamed by being portrayed as racist based on a "deceptively edited" clip of speech "taken out of context" that suggests the black Sherrod discriminated against white farmers. The defendants counter that their interpretation of the clip is protected speech under the First Amendment and that the snippet at issue and Breitbart's commentary on his Web site "captured the gist of the [Sherrod] speech."
Failing dismissal of the suit, the defendants further argued that the matter, which they already removed to federal court from D.C. Superior Court, should be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California where they reside.