Get Ibrahim Hooper a Prozac. The Council on American Islamic Relations’ legal intimidation tactic, so finely honed over the last few years, has faltered yet again, hot on the heels of CAIR’s loss to Anti-CAIR. “Appeals court upholds dismissal of lawsuit against Ballenger,” from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
RALEIGH, N.C. – A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of an American Muslim civil rights group’s defamation lawsuit against former U.S. Rep. Cass Ballenger, who linked the group to terrorists in a 2003 interview.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations sued Ballenger for $2 million, saying the congressman’s comments damaged its reputation and good name. The group has denied any links to terrorism.
In the October 2003 interview with The Charlotte Observer, Ballenger blamed the breakup of his 50-year marriage partly on the stress of living near CAIR’s headquarters, which was so close to the U.S. Capitol that he and his wife worried “they could blow the place up.”
He also called the CAIR “the fundraising arm for Hezbollah.”
A three-judge appeals court panel in Washington upheld the March 2005 decision of a federal district court judge to dismiss the case.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon agreed with Ballenger that the comments were made in his capacity as a federal employee and that the suit should be converted into one against the U.S. government.
Then, because the doctrine of sovereign immunity bars most suits against the federal government, Leon threw the case out.