In defeat for Fox News, judge rules Dominion case will go to trial

Fox News' effort to get Dominion's $1.6bn defamation case against it tossed out was itself ended today by Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis. The lawsuit will now go to trial–which looks like a dangerous one for Fox News, given the evidence already revealed in court showing that its presenters knew they were promoting lies about the company's voting machines.

Davis handed Dominion a major win, too, when he agreed that the challenged statements are false.

The ruling spares the voting machine company from having to litigate baseless conspiracy theories about its role in the 2020 election during the upcoming trial against Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp. …

Fox News had argued that the challenged comments were opinion and protected as such, but Davis disagreed.

"The Court finds, as a matter of law, that the Statements are either fact or mixed opinion," he wrote. "The Statements were capable of being proven true, and in fact the evidence that would prove the Statements was discussed many times (but never presented)."

It's difficult to bring a libel case to conclusion in the U.S. One must prove not only that a statement was false, but that it meets various standards aimed at protecting the right to free speech. Fox News has done an astounding job of systematically nailing many of them. If it emerged that a top executive blithely emailed everyone to demand of its hosts "lie about Dominion Systems, and be sure that everything you say is false or recklessly disregards what you know to be true or false. Thanks, Susan" no-one would be surprised.