On Thursday, a Texas judge denied a motion by Infowars host Alex Jones to dismiss a lawsuit against him by Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, the parents of Noah Pozner, who died at six years old in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. Since the shooting, Jones, a sputtering demon who will likely one day spontaneously combust from a combination of rage and heart disease, has frequently advanced the conspiracy theory that the attack was a “false flag” planned by the government as a pretext to take away Americans’ guns.
The harassment against De La Rosa and Pozner by Infowars fans has been extreme. Death threats have forced them to move seven times since 2012 and they are currently living in a high security community thousands of miles from where their son is buried. In 2015, Pozner was successful in getting YouTube to remove an Infowars video about the shooting. But that only provoked Jones to doxx the couple. “Mr. Jones went on an angry rant about me for nearly an hour,” Pozner says in an affidavit. “Mr. Jones then showed his audience my personal information and maps to addresses associated with my family.”
Now, Pozner and De La Rosa are suing Jones for defamation.
Jones fought the case on the grounds that his videos constitute free speech, using the Texas Citizens Participation Act, which, according to the New York Times, “protects citizens’ right to free speech against plaintiffs who aim to silence them through costly litigation.” The dismissal by the judge signals that Pozner and De La Rosa will be allowed to continue their case.
This decision may be important for two other defamation suits filed against Jones, one of which is by another Sandy Hook parent, Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis was killed in the attack. Jones is attempting to dismiss that case on similar free speech grounds.
But there’s indications that the cases might go through: the same judge previously ruled in favor of another plaintiff suing Jones for defamation, Marcel Fontaine, who was falsely accused by Jones’ website of being the Parkland school shooter. “After the Infowars report, Mr. Fontaine was subjected to months of harassment, including threats at his workplace,” the Times writes. The judge ruled that Fontaine could proceed with his suit alleging defamation, but not emotional distress, and that Fontaine couldn’t sue Jones directly.
These lawsuits come at a time when Jones has been mostly banished from social media platforms, which one by one decided to ban his content over the last several weeks, setting off criticisms of liberal bias from right wing internet personalities. But don’t worry, far-right nutjobs—Jones still spews his hateful nonsense across our airwaves, and remains extremely popular among people who also enjoy anti-fluoride bumper stickers.