Friday, January 20, 2012

Paul Likes Courts, if not Government; Sues Anonymous Webbies for Libel

ATLANTIC, IA - DECEMBER 29:  Presidential hope...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeLibertarian  GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul may frown on government generally, though using federal court to litigate against 10 anonymous online supporters who uploaded attack videos on his behalf, but without his permission, apparently doesn't bother him.

Paul's campaign this week in San Francisco filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California seeking damages and injunctive relief against the zealous unidentified boosters. The complaint in Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Committee, Inc. v. John Does 1-10 (Case No. 12-cv-0240) includes counts alleging libel, defamation, false advertising and false designation of origin in violation of the Lanham Act [15 U.S.C. sec. 1125(a)].

As reported by, Paul's organization faces the high hurdle of proving actual malice in its defamation claim and daunting odds pursuing its trademark infringement count, but the candidate and his organization have been nothing if not surprising thus far in overcoming expectations.

The videos at issue in the lawsuit, entitled NHLiberty4Paul, disparaged now-former GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman, taking aim at the former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China's  Mormon faith and connections to China. The Libertarian Paul's dogmatic devotion to personal freedom and government restraint is likely to be tested by the litigation once subpoenas targeting Internet Service Providers to identify the John Doe defendants begin flying out of the plaintiff's camp.

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