The Reckoning: The SPLC is Facing More than 60 Defamation Lawsuits
Not long ago, Muslim reformer Ayaan Hirsi Ali said that the Southern Poverty Law Center is more interested in “profiting off the anxieties and white guilt of Northern liberals” than they are in actually protecting minorities from human rights violations or hateful conduct. Ali would know; she has been repeatedly smeared by the so-called watchdog group as an “anti-Muslim extremist” despite the fact that she knows more about the ins and outs of Islamism than anyone who has ever worked for the SPLC.
The same can be said of Maajid Nawaz, who recently won a $3.375 million settlement from the SPLC after suing the leftist organization for defamation. Not only did the SPLC have to cough up the dough, they had to publicly apologize to Nawaz for mischaracterizing his attempts to rid Islam of terrorism as a hate campaign. Observers saw the Nawaz lawsuit as a potential watershed moment – conservatives have known the truth about the SPLC for a very long time; the settlement could mean that the rest of the world was finally catching on.
Certainly, it has opened the legal floodgates. Shortly after Nawaz won his settlement, Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel nonprofit law firm told PJ Media that approximately 60 organizations were contemplating litigation against the SPLC based on claims of defamation.
“What we’re considering is not a class-action lawsuit,” Staver told PJ Media. “These are individual lawsuits that we’re looking at, not class action.”
Staver said the intent was to “make the SPLC defend itself all over the country.”
If nothing else, the effort will have a sympathetic ear in the current Justice Department. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stuck it to the SPLC when he returned to an Alliance Defending Freedom event, despite the fact that last year the left-wing organization deemed ADF a “hate group” for its “intolerance” of gay marriage.
Sessions accused the group of using its “hate” label as a “weapon against conservative organizations that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak their conscience.” He said that, unlike the previous administration, his DOJ would not partner with the SPLC or use their resources to determine where and when to designate a group worthy of the “hate” label.
All of this publicity is no doubt a good thing for the SPLC, which is, above all, a donation factory. But if even a third of those promised lawsuits land the way we think they’re about to, the SPLC may be too busy spending those donations on their legal defense to use any of the money to attack conservatives and others who don’t align with their polarizing view of the world. Hell, we might even get lucky enough to see them driven out of existence altogether.