Groundbreaking $4.8M Lawsuit Threatens to Unearth SPLC's Secrets

BY TYLER O'NEIL
PJ Media
Sep. 20, 2019

Over the past two years, the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has faced numerous lawsuits for defamation and other claims. The SPLC earned its reputation by suing the Ku Klux Klan, and in recent decades it has accused various organizations of being "hate groups," listing them along with the KKK in a cynical attempt to raise money and destroy its political enemies. While the SPLC paid a $3.375 million settlement to Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz last year, none of the many lawsuits against the SPLC has threatened to reveal its secrets -- until now.

Every lawsuit against the SPLC has been stalled or dismissed or settled, with none reaching the discovery process -- a legal process by which a plaintiff can investigate the internal documents of the organization or person he or she is suing. On Tuesday, a judge dismissed a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) lawsuit, claiming CIS attempted to shoehorn a defamation claim into a racketeering claim. CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian told PJ Media his group is considering an appeal.

The discovery process threatens to reveal the SPLC's hidden documents. This is a big deal because the organization had a serious shake-up in March, when it fired its co-founder and cleaned house at the top in response to claims of sexual harassment and racial discrimination. The secretive SPLC did not even reveal the employee letter that led to this massive shake-up, and there is likely more dirt still to be uncovered.

In July, District Court Judge Roseann Ketchmark in the Western District of Missouri rejected part of the SPLC's motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, allowing the case to enter the discovery process. Yet this huge news has received almost no media attention, presumably because there is no big law firm behind this lawsuit.

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