CT Supreme Court upholds sanctions for Alex Jones’ ‘blood on the streets’ rant
NEWTOWN — The sanctions a Connecticut judge imposed on extremist Alex Jones after his profanity-laden call-to-war against his “enemies” behind the Sandy Hook defamation lawsuit were upheld by the state’s highest court on Thursday.
The Connecticut Supreme Court’s denial of Jones’ appeal means the host of the Texas-based Infowars internet show is stuck with the 2019 ruling of Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, who threw out Jones’ motion to dismiss the Sandy Hook families’ defamation lawsuit for crossing the line too many times.
The lead attorney for the first responder and eight families suing Jones for calling the 2012 massacre of 26 first-graders and educators “staged,” “synthetic,” “manufactured,” “a giant hoax,” and “completely fake with actors” with “inside job written all over it,” said the Supreme Court ruling was a victory for civility.
“As other branches of government show signs of cracking under the weight of threats and falsehoods, this ruling reminds us that the courtroom is still a sacred place that remains dedicated to the truth, to precedent and to long-established rules created over centuries,” attorney Josh Koskoff said in a prepared statement. “The same families that Alex Jones has abused since the day after the Sandy Hook massacre now look forward to proceeding towards trial to hold him accountable for the compounded pain and suffering he has caused.”
Jones’ attorney Jay Wolman was not immediately available Thursday to comment on the ruling, which sets the stage for jury selection in November.
Jones’ appeal stemmed from a ruling last summer by Bellis that threw out his motion to dismiss the families’ lawsuit. Bellis had warned Jones that she would do just that if Jones kept missing court-imposed deadlines to turn over information to the families.
Bellis’ ruling followed Jones’ profanity-laden broadcast on the internet show Infowars, in which Jones claimed someone had embedded child pornography in his emails that were turned over to the Sandy Hook families as part of the pretrial discovery process.
The Supreme Court ruling quotes several pages of transcripts from Jones’ rant, including:
“And I’m just asking the Pentagon and the patriots that are left, and 4chan and 8chan, and Anonymous, anybody (who’s) a patriot, I am under attack, and if they bring me down, they’ll bring you down. I just have faith in you. I’m under attack. And I summon the mean war. I summon all of it against the enemy.”
In another excerpt, the court quotes Jones as saying:
“I pray for divine intervention against the powers of Satan. I literally would never have sex with children. I don’t like having sex with children. I would never have sex with children. I am not a Democrat. I am not a liberal. I do not cut children’s genitals off like the left does. And so, if they want war — you know, it’s not a threat. It’s like an AC/DC song. If you want blood, you’ve got it. Blood on the streets, man. . .”
The Supreme Court ruled Bellis was well within her discretion to sanction Jones.
“[T]he sanctions did not run afoul of the First Amendment because they addressed speech that was an imminent and likely threat to the administration of justice,” the Supreme Court said in its ruling. “Accordingly, it was not an abuse of the trial court’s discretion to sanction the defendants for their discovery violations and Jones’ vituperative speech.”