Florida court refuses NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer’s ’emotional distress’ lawsuit

Gun News

click to enlarge

  • Photo via News Service Florida
  • National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer

A full federal appeals court has rejected a request by prominent National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer to take up a case about graphic emails she received after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Hammer asked last month for the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear her case against California attorney Lawrence Sorensen, who emailed photos to Hammer that included photos of gunshot wounds, including fatal wounds suffered by President John F. Kennedy. The request came after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle and a three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court ruled against Hammer, who alleged that Sorensen violated state laws about issues such as cyberstalking, harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The appeals court on Tuesday issued a one-page order turning down Hammer’s request for a hearing before the full court, what is known as an “en banc” hearing.

The case has stemmed from two emails that Sorensen sent to Hammer as gun-control advocates targeted her following the Parkland shooting that killed 17 students and faculty members. Hammer, a former national president of the NRA, has long been an influential lobbyist in Florida and is closely identified with gun-related issues in the state.


Hammer filed the lawsuit against Sorensen and three other unrelated men in 2018 because of emails she received, though the appeal dealt only with Sorensen. Hinkle in November 2018 dismissed Hammer’s claims against Sorensen, though he acknowledged that Sorensen sending the emails “unsolicited to anyone, even a public figure who advocates gun rights, was inappropriate, indeed disgusting.” But the Tallahassee-based judge said Sorensen’s messages were protected by the First Amendment and that Hammer was not entitled to damages.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court in August ruled that Hammer’s lawsuit did not allege “enough facts” to show that laws were violated. As an example, the court said proving cyberstalking requires showing that the disputed communications served “no legitimate purpose.”

The panel said Sorensen’s emails, which were “clearly intended to dissuade Hammer from continuing to support the availability of assault rifles,” had a legitimate purpose.

But in a Sept. 1 motion for a hearing before the full appeals court, Hammer’s attorneys contended such logic could have far-reaching consequences.

“Because email is directed to a specific recipient, the panel’s decision could be applied to justify sending a potentially endless list of horrific content to specifically targeted recipients who would have no redress (for instance, images of gruesome lynching or cross burnings to black social justice activists, images of dead and mutilated bodies from the Holocaust to Jewish Americans, images of aborted fetuses to pro-choice activists, and so forth),” Hammer’s attorneys wrote. “Under the panel’s rationale, as long as the actor states they were furthering debate, or sending the content for ‘instructive’ purposes, the conduct cannot be prevented or redressed. Consequently, the meaning of ‘civilized society’ in an internet age which allows immediate delivery of outrageous graphic content to a targeted captive audience rests in the balance of this case and warrants the full court’s consideration.”

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Source link

Articles You May Like

Amanpour Claims ‘Law-Abiding Citizens’ Commit Most Murders
It’s hard to tell if it’s a ‘good guy’ carrying a concealed gun
Donald Trump has vowed to undo gun restrictions if re-elected. Here’s what we know
Letter: I’m worried about gun violence for good reason – InForum
All Ball Sports: Kansas City Blues, Sea Hawks bright


  1. 360508 259756for yet yet another wonderful informative post, Im a loyal reader to this weblog and I cant stress enough how a lot valuable details Ive learned from reading your content material. I actually appreciate all the hard work you put into this wonderful weblog. 952252

  2. 287022 895175Largest lover messages were produced to share it along with your and gives honour with the bride and groom. Really sound systems facing unnecessary throngs of folks need to take into account each of our valuable concept of all presenting, which is ones trailer. best man toasts 168592

  3. 981675 227146Hiya! Great blog! I happen to be a every day visitor to your website (somewhat more like addict ) of this internet site. Just wanted to say I appreciate your blogs and am searching forward for far more! 380595

  4. 398709 423577informatii interesante si utile postate pe blogul dumneavoastra. dar ca si o paranteza , ce parere aveti de inchirierea apartamente vacanta ?. 772115

  5. 663871 117876Hello there, just became alert to your blog by way of Google, and found that its truly informative. Im gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate should you continue this in future. Lots of folks is going to be benefited from your writing. Cheers! xrumer 569440

  6. 681639 867403You produced some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the problem and discovered most individuals will go coupled with along along with your web site. 826489

  7. 998980 16483I discovered your weblog internet site on google and check just several of your early posts. Proceed to sustain up the exceptional operate. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN Data Reader. Seeking forward to reading much more from you in a while! 954594

  8. 528331 166107Hello! I could have sworn Ive been to this web site before but right after browsing via some with the post I realized it is new to me. Nonetheless, Im surely pleased I identified it and Ill be book-marking and checking back regularly! 354065

  9. 834974 127169A person essentially lend a hand to make significantly articles I may state. That is the quite initial time I frequented your website page and up to now? I amazed with the research you created to create this particular publish incredible. Excellent activity! 422517

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *