September 06, 2006

Ligonier Ministries sues blogger

How much First Amendment protection do bloggers have? That's the question at issue in a lawsuit filed by Ligonier Ministries against blogger Frank Vance. Ligonier Ministries is an international Christian education organization founded in 1971 by theologian R.C. Sproul. In the past five months, Vance's blog has described Ligonier president Timothy Dick as part of a "family of nincompoops," "a very corrupt man" and "a lying, thieving con artist," according to the lawsuit. Plaintiffs are asking the judge to stop Vance from publishing such material in the future. But media lawyers call that "prior restraint," and judges have long held that media must first publish specific material before those offended can seek justice. Judges have been less certain, though, how to handle bloggers. In the Ligonier case, does Vance qualify as "media?" Do all bloggers qualify as constitutionally protected "free press," or should there be some distinction to prevent libel by some individuals against others?

Posted by Vincent at September 6, 2006 07:02 AM