mercredi 16 décembre 2015

Homophobic blogger Douglas Handshoe loses attempt to get a court to censor free speech about him

Homophobic Mississippi blogger Douglas Handshoe's campaign of endless litigation aimed at chilling free speech about him has hit another brick wall as U.S. district court judge Keith Starrett has dismissed Handshoe's lawsuit against the Toronto Star and one of its investigative reporters.  In addition the court has recently dismissed lawsuit allegations Handshoe made against Loyola University, civil rights attorney Daniel Abel, and process server Chris Yount in a seperate legal action (update coming up).

Handshoe sued the Star and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald newspapers in March, 2015, for referring to him as homophobic, claiming the statements were defamatory despite the fact that his homophobia was enshrined in published court decisions about him.

"Nova Scotia couple wins copyright lawsuit against homophobic U.S. blogger" was the title of the article in question, written by Peter Edwards.

Now, it seems, the article will remain in publication, as it has since February, 2014, when it was first published. Handshoe's lawsuit against Nova Scotia's largest daily, the Chronicle-Herald, was also dismissed, with no retraction from that newspaper.

There was no doubt that in February, 2014, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court found Handshoe, an accountant, to have published homophobic material about the Canadian gay couple. Justice Kevin Coady reiterated the findings of a previous court decision about Handshoe: "The statements also contained anti-gay rhetoric and homophobic comments." As the Justice found:
The following is but a taste of the defamation plead: Mr. Handshoe has continued to repeatedly publish words referring to the personal plaintiffs as "girls", "bitches", "bottom boys", "wives", "perverted" and "queer fag scum."
Judge Starrett in Mississippi federal court found that Handshoe's lawsuit against Canada's largest-circulation newspaper did not accord with the U.S. Constitution:
Though Mississippi is mentioned in the article, it is mentioned only in-so-much as it identifies where Plaintiff resides and conducts his blogging, which is the conduct on which the Canadian lawsuit is based. Instead of focusing on Plaintiff’s Mississippi activities, the article focuses predominantly on the lawsuit those activities inspired in Canada and the decision of the Canadian court.

Because the subject of the article is the Canadian lawsuit, the targeted audience was Canadian readers, and no Mississippi sources other than Plaintiff himself were used, the Court finds that the focal point of the article was Canada, not Mississippi. As such, the Court cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over Defendants under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In another lawsuit before the same federal judge, Handshoe also recently had his conspiratorial allegations against Loyola University of New Orleans and its legal clinic dismissed as well. The blogger's campaign of pointless litigation in Mississippi aims to stop free speech about him and his actions on his blog "Slabbed," precisely the kind of civil rights that he endlessly proclaims for himself in justifying his online commentary on others. What's good for the gander is not good for the goose in Handshoe's case. The hypocrisy in his recent lawsuits in his home state is readily apparent.

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