Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Crystal Cox Case is a Game Changer. NOW you are MEDIA as a Matter of Law and Higher Court Precedent

"What the Crystal Cox case means for digital media

The case, which threatened to turn a great deal of business journalism into a crime, made its way to the California Court of Appeals. In 2006, the court ruled against Apple and for the websites. Journalism was also a winner.


That affair came to mind this week when a federal judge in Oregon, ruling in a libel case, came to a different conclusion. In deciding that blogger Crystal Cox's blistering attack on an investment firm and its co-founder was defamatory, he said she was not a journalist and therefore could not keep her source's identity secret under that state's shield law. Even if she had met that standard, he wrote, she'd still have had to divulge the identity of her source for the post.

In reaching that conclusion, the judge relied on wording in the law that makes no mention of digital media. And, following a laundry list of what he considered acceptable journalistic credentials and practices, he concluded she met none of his criteria and therefore was not part of the news media."

Source  and Full Article
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/dec/08/crystal-cox-case-digital-media

BLOGS are MEDIA. And Bloggers NOW have Equal Rights as a Matter of Law because of the Crystal Cox Case Ninth Circuit Win.


Monday, January 11, 2021

"Bloggers entitled to same free speech protections as traditional journalists"

" Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Andrew Hurwitz issued an opinion in Obsidian Finance Group, LLC. v. Cox.  His opening line was as follows:

“This case requires us to address a question of first impression: What First Amendment protections are afforded a blogger sued for defamation?”

This important new decision involved a blog post by blogger Crystal Cox, in which she accused a financial firm and its bankruptcy trustee of tax fraud.  At the trial court level, the judge rejected Cox’s First Amendment arguments concerning the liability standards that should govern the case, reasoning that she had “failed to submit evidence suggestive of her status as a journalist.”

However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, holding that:

“The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities…As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, A First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and others speakers is unworkable.”

The court then went on to quote some of the only rational language (in my opinion) from Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:

“With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media…the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.”

The Ninth Circuit ultimately held that Cox should get a new trial and the distinction between bloggers and traditional reports is irrelevant in this context.  
Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who represented Cox, noted the importance of this decision in the era of online content:

“In this day and age, with so much important stuff produced by people who are not professionals, it’s harder than ever to decide who is a member of the institutional press.”

So what are some of the other important takeaways for online commentators out there?

The court reaffirmed that opinions which employ “figurative and hyperbolic language” that cannot be proved as true or false are constitutionally protected.

Additionally, “while ‘pure’ opinions are protected by the First Amendment, a statement that ‘may imply a false assertion of fact’ is actionable.”  So while opinions are usually protected as free speech, if you are making a factual claim, you should be able to provide evidence to support your claim.  For example, if you write a review on Yelp that a restaurant charged your credit card $10 more than what you signed for on your receipt, then you should be able to support this claim with a copy of the receipt and your credit card billing statement.

However, regardless of what precautions someone takes, anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason, even if it’s entirely without merit.  Luckily for those of you in about half of the states, anti-SLAPP laws have been enacted to help you get those meritless suits dismissed relatively quickly and painlessly."

Source
http://www.casp.net/uncategorized/bloggers-entitled-to-same-free-speech-protections-as-traditional-journalists/

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Crystal Cox Case is a Landmark Decision and it is a Game Changer for all New Media.

"Bloggers Gain First Amendment Victories But Still Face Issues in Online Journalism

Bloggers achieved a significant victory when the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held on Jan. 17, 2014 that First Amendment protections in defamation lawsuits extend to bloggers. 

In April 2014, a Florida appellate court held that bloggers were entitled to pre-suit notices for defamation suits under Florida law. Although the victories are welcome news to online content producers everywhere, the jailing of an Alabama blogger has raised questions and concerns among free speech advocates. Online speakers may still have obstacles to overcome before courts fully recognize that First Amendment protections apply to them.

Ninth Circuit Recognizes First Amendment Protections for Bloggers

On Jan. 17, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that bloggers receive the same First Amendment protections as institutional media in defamation lawsuits. Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox, 740 F.3d 1284 (9th Cir. 2014).

The case involved a dispute between Kevin Padrick, a principal with Obsidian Finance, a firm that advises financially troubled businesses, and Crystal Cox, a self-described investigative blogger. In 2008, Obsidian began working with Summit Accommodators, which was considering filing for bankruptcy.

A bankruptcy court appointed Padrick as Chapter 11 trustee once Summit filed reorganization paperwork. Shortly thereafter, Cox began posting accusations of criminal activity carried out by Padrick and Obsidian in their work with the Summit bankruptcy on several different websites, including “obsidianfinancesucks.com.” After sending a cease-and-desist letter that Cox did not comply with, Padrick and Obsidian filed a defamation suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

The district court held that only one blog post could be interpreted as containing a statement of fact, and could proceed to trial. Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox, 812 F. Supp. 2d 1220 (D. Or. 2011).

The remaining blog posts were considered constitutionally protected opinions because they did not contain provable statements of fact. Cox also claimed protection under Oregon’s journalist’s shield law, but District Judge Marco A. Hernandez held that she did not meet the definitions of who can receive protection as laid out by the state statute. (For more information on Cox’s shield law claims, see “Defamation Lawsuits Pose Threat to Journalists as Online Communication Complicates First Amendment Analysis” in the Spring 2012 issue of the Silha Bulletin).

Cox also made First Amendment arguments that the liability standards should be governed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc, 418 U.S. 323 (1974). In Gertz, the Supreme Court held that a private plaintiff needs to show only negligence to recover actual damages from a media defendant.

But a plaintiff can only recover presumed or punitive damages upon a showing that a media defendant acted with “actual malice,” meaning that the statements were made with knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of the truth. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. Cox argued that, under Gertz, Padrick and Obsidian carried the burden of proving her negligence in order to recover actual damages for defamation.

Cox also argued that Padrick and Obsidian must show that she acted with actual malice to receive presumed damages. Judge Hernandez dismissed these arguments, stating that Cox had not proven that she was a journalist. Therefore, the protections of Gertz did not apply to her.

Cox also contended that Padrick and Obsidian were public figures. Under the New York Times v. Sullivan and the Gertz rulings, public figures are required to prove actual malice before they may recover any type of damages. New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964). The district court judge once again dismissed this argument, stating that Padrick and Obsidian had not made themselves public figures by becoming involved with a public controversy. Rather, Cox had created the controversy.

At the conclusion of the trial, a jury returned verdicts in favor of Padrick and Obsidian. Cox moved for a new trial, which the district court denied. Cox then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the district court had ruled incorrectly on the liability standards and Padrick’s and Obsidian’s public figure status. Padrick and Obsidian filed a cross-appeal contending that the jury should have considered their defamation claims relating to the other blog posts.

In a unanimous decision, the Ninth Circuit panel reversed the district court’s judgment against Cox. The court held that Gertz’s liability rules were not limited only to situations that involved traditional media defendants. The opinion by Judge Andrew Hurwitz explained that although the Supreme Court has never ruled that the Gertz standard applied to others besides institutional media, the Court’s language in the opinion also did not limit the ruling to institutional media alone. Hurwitz wrote, “[the Supreme Court] has repeatedly refused in non-defamation contexts to accord greater First Amendment protection to the institutional media than to other speakers,” citing several cases in which the high court declined to create a distinction between members of the press and the general public.

As a result, the court agreed with other circuits that “the First Amendment defamation rules in Sullivan and its progeny apply equally to the institutional press and individual speakers.” The court also noted that trying to create a distinction between institutional media and other communicators was very difficult.

Therefore, the court said that the key First Amendment factor under Gertz in defamation cases was not the identity of the speaker. Rather, “the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue” are the key First Amendment considerations. Through this rationale, Cox, as a blogger, was entitled to the same liability standards that traditional forms of media received under the First Amendment.

In addition to determining that Sullivan and Gertz protections apply to the general public, the appeals court also rejected the argument that Gertz was limited to defamation cases involving matters of public concern. Hurwitz wrote that even if Gertz was limited to such a situation, Cox’s blog posts concerned public matters qualifying for protection.  However, the appellate court rejected Cox’s argument that Padrick and Obsidian became public officials because a bankruptcy court appointed them to oversee Summit’s affairs and provided compensation to them. The court also held that Cox’s remaining blog posts were clearly opinions. The panel concluded its decision by granting Cox’s request for a new trial.

Several First Amendment advocates and advocacy organizations praised the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who represented Cox during the appeals process, told Associated Press reporter Jeff Barnard for a Jan. 17, 2014 article that the decision “makes clear that bloggers have the same First Amendment rights as professional journalists.” 

Volokh also noted that the decision followed similar court rulings that granted First Amendment protections to other writers and book authors, although this ruling appeared to be the first to grant protection to bloggers. In the same article, Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), said the ruling confirmed the fact that Gertz was “not a special right to the news media.” Rather, it applied to everyone. “So it’s a good thing for bloggers and citizen journalists and others,” Leslie said.

In a Jan. 24, 2014 commentary, First Amendment Center President Ken Paulson called the Ninth Circuit’s ruling a “landmark decision.” Paulson noted that given the growing financial constraints on traditional news media, many bloggers had taken on the role of the watchdog of people with power. The Ninth Circuit’s holding that bloggers deserve the same protections as traditional media was “something worth celebrating.” 

On the same day, Jim Rosenfeld, Ambika K. Doran and Jeremy A. Chase, attorneys with the firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, called the decision “a major win for individuals who blog, share, tweet, and otherwise publish their views online.” 

The attorneys explained that the panel’s language provided First Amendment protections to all speakers regardless of affiliation with institutional media.

As a result, the attorneys said, “an individual blogger, website operator or social media users speaking publicly on the Internet enjoy the same First Amendment protections from defamation claims as traditional media publishers.”

Nevertheless, some observers have noted that the case may not be a total victory. In a Jan. 17, 2014 post, Digital Media Law Project director Jeff Hermes wrote that although the court rightly decided the case, he was concerned that the court’s statements seemed to suggest that the reason Cox’s speech was protected in some blog posts was because few people could reasonably believe that content on blogs.

Hermes wrote that such assumptions about online content could devalue factual speech in the name of protecting it. “Respecting speech means evaluating it on its merits, instead of assuming that it has none,” he said."

Source
http://silha.umn.edu/news/WinterSpring2014/SILHACENTERBloggersFirstAmendmentUniversityofMinnesota.html

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

THE REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, Obsidian v. Cox Case Citing Page 14

THE REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS,  July 2016

MARK BOAL, et al.,
Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et
al.,
Defendants.

Case No. 2:16-CV-05407-GHK-GJS
BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE
THE REPORTERS
COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM
OF THE PRESS AND 36
MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS IN
SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’
EX PARTE APPLICATION
[Notice of Motion and Motion and
[Proposed] filed Concurrently
Herewith]
Date: August 29, 2016
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Judge: Honorable George H. King

Click Below to Read Filing
https://pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/amici-curiae-brief.pdf


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

You are now Media as of a Matter of Law Due to the Crystal Cox Case. So, start a blog, tell your story, report the news in your town, area of expertise or news you know.

"Bloggers = Media for First Amendment Libel Law Purposes

So holds today’s Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014) (in which I represented the defendant). To be precise, the Ninth Circuit concludes that all who speak to the public, whether or not they are members of the institutional press, are equally protected by the First Amendment. To quote the court,
"The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media … the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.”Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue — not the identity of the speaker — provide the First Amendment touchstones."
I think that’s right, not just as a matter of First Amendment principle but also as a matter of history and precedent (as I documented at length in Freedom for the Press as an Industry, or for the Press as a Technology? From the Framing to Today, 160 U. Pa. L. Rev. 459 (2012)). The specific legal issue that the Ninth Circuit was confronting in this passage, by the way, is whether all who speak to the public are equally protected by the Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. rules, which are that
  1. libel plaintiffs suing over statements on matters of public concern must prove that the defendant was negligent about the falsity of the statement, and
  2. libel plaintiffs suing over statements on matters of public concern and seeking presumed or punitive damages (as opposed to identifiable compensatory damages) must prove that the defendant knew that the statement was false or recklessly disregarded the possibility that it was false.
But the court’s reasoning reaches the First Amendment more broadly, and correctly so (again, see the Freedom for the Press as an Industry, or for the Press as a Technology? article, which sets out the historical evidence). Note, though, that the court’s reasoning is limited to First Amendment protections; it doesn’t discuss state or federal statutes that provide extra protection to the “media” or to other subsets of speakers."
Source
http://volokh.com/2014/01/17/bloggers-media-first-amendment-libel-law-purposes/

Obsidian v. Cox ~ Ninth Circuit Blogger First Amendment Case


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

YES the First Amendment DOES apply to Anti-Corruption Bloggers, Citizen Journalists and Whistleblowers. Don't let a DIRTY Judge tell you any different. Stand UP for your RIGHTS.

"Bloggers enjoy First Amendment protection against libel suits

"A website that castigates others as “evil doers” and “thugs” has exactly the same First Amendment protection as USA TODAY and the New York Times – and that’s a good thing.

In a landmark decision on Friday, a federal appellate court held for the first time that blogs enjoy the same First Amendment protection from libel suits as traditional news media.

At issue were the blog posts of Crystal Cox, who accused Bend, Oregon attorney Kevin Padrick and his firm Obsidian Finance Group of misconduct in connection with his role as a trustee in a bankruptcy case. A jury awarded the plaintiffs $2.5 million in damages.

But the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit saw things differently, deciding that Cox’s allegations were matters of public interest and to sue her successfully, Padrick would have to prove her negligence – the same standard that applies when news media are sued.

“The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist,” Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote.

While the Supreme Court has previously observed that the lines between traditional news media and native web content have become blurred, this makes the first time that federal appellate court has essentially said that journalists and bloggers are one and the same when it comes to the First Amendment.

But we already knew that. The purpose of the free press clause of the First Amendment was to keep an eye on people in power and maintain a check on corruption. Given the cutbacks in traditional media, bloggers have taken up the slack, serving as watchdogs with attitude.

And of course, traditional reporters now blog daily, and prominent bloggers show up in traditional media.

Yet we still see a condescending and uninformed attitude from some lawmakers and judges who seem not to understand that digital and social media deserve the same respect as newspapers, magazines and broadcasters.

There is still resistance to including bloggers in a federal shield law, and as recently as 2012 a federal court judge concluding that “liking” a Facebook page was not protected free speech, a flawed decision overturned in September.

Speech doesn’t get much more free than blogs and comments on websites, and long-established principles protecting opinion and hyperbole help to keep it that way. In this case, the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision to toss out other libel claims against Cox, despite her assertions that her targets engaged in corruption, fraud, deceit, money laundering, harassment and illegal activity. She called them immoral “evil doers” and “thugs” and alleged that a hit man had been hired to kill her.

The appellate court concluded that Cox’s post were so outrageous that no one would take them seriously and these hyperbolic attacks couldn’t be the basis of a lawsuit. Apparently it also helps to name your site “obsidianfinancesucks.com.”

The decision in a nutshell: Bloggers saying libelous things about private citizens concerning  public matters can only be sued if they’re negligent, and if you do decide to attack someone online, make sure you go over the top.

Ironically, the federal court’s decision protecting bloggers was based on Gertz v. Welch, a landmark Supreme Court case now in its 40th anniversary year. In lieu of cake and candles, we have a brand new case applying the case’s landmark decision to the most contemporary of media.

As abusive and derisive as some bloggers may be, they’re direct descendants of the first generation of Americans, who used pamphlets and politically-driven newspapers to attack their political rivals.  It was then that the nation’s founders ratified the First Amendment, paving the way for robust discussion of public issues, regardless of medium. That’s something worth celebrating."

Source
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/bloggers-enjoy-first-amendment-protection-against-libel-suits

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Yes First case of it's Kind. Landmark case. NO Crystal Cox had NO history of seeking payoff for retractions. NOT one. Not Ever.

"a
Appeals court overturns defamation award against blogger
A panel of 9th Circuit judges rules that bloggers have the same 1st Amendment protections as traditional news media.
January 17, 2014|By Maura Dolan
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SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court unanimously overturned a defamation award against a blogger Friday, ruling that 1st Amendment protections for traditional news media extend to individuals posting on the Web.

"The protections of the 1st Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities," Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz wrote for a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The panel said its holding was the first of its kind within the 9th Circuit, though other circuit courts have held that individuals have the same free speech rights as the news media.

"This case is the first one from a federal court of appeals that specifically protects the rights of bloggers," said UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh, who represented blogger Crystal Cox on appeal."

Source
http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/17/local/la-me-blogger-1st-amendment-20140118

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Crystal Cox Free Speech Case was the First of It's Kind, a Case which gave Equal Free Speech Rights to ALL online Speakers, to that of the Highest Paid Journalist in the Wealthiest of Publications.

"Bloggers Get Same Speech Protections As Press: 9th Circ.

By Michael Lipkin

Law360, Los Angeles (January 17, 2014, 5:49 PM ET) -- Bloggers and others who speak on issues of public concern are entitled to the same free-speech protections as traditional journalists, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled Friday, finding a trustee that a blogger had criticized for its role in a real estate bankruptcy needed to show the blogger had acted negligently.

Writing for a unanimous panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz reversed part of a lower court decision that found Obsidian Finance Group LLC did not need to show fault to establish liability against blogger Crystal Cox.

Cox had accused Obsidian of tax fraud in its role as trustee in a real estate bankruptcy case, and was hit with a $2.5 million defamation verdict in 2011 over her posts.

But the trial court erred in not granting Cox certain First Amendment protections, the panel ruled Friday, citing U.S. Supreme Court cases that held the institutional press did not have greater constitutional privileges than other speakers.

“As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable,” the opinion said. “In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue — not the identity of the speaker — provide the First Amendment touchstones.”

According to Obsidian's January 2011 complaint, Cox accused Obsidian of tax fraud when it collected and liquidated the assets of investment company Summit Accommodators, calling Obsidian trustee Kevin Padrick a “thug and a thief hiding behind the skirt tails of a corrupt unmonitored bankruptcy court system.”

Cox argued that the distinction between anyone who shares information with the public and traditional print and broadcast media has blurred, entitling any such speaker to be protected from defamation suits unless it can be proved that they acted negligently. Because the district court judge did not inform the jury about the negligence requirement, Cox is entitled to a new trial, Friday’s decision said.

“The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, [was] formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings or tried to get both sides of a story,” the opinion said.

Obsidian had also argued that it did not need to prove negligence because Cox’s blog posts did not involve a public concern. But the court ruled that Cox wrote to readers at large about issues of public importance.

“The allegations against Padrick and his company raised questions about whether they were failing to protect the defrauded investors because they were in league with their original clients,” the opinion said.

Cox’s attorney praised the decision for finding the First Amendment protects bloggers as much as it does professional reporters.

“The First Amendment protects all who use ‘the press,’ in the sense of the printing press and its technological heirs, and not just the few who are members of the business that we now call ‘the press,’" said Eugene Volokh, an academic affiliate at Mayer Brown LLP and founder of the popular legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy.

Meanwhile, an attorney for Obsidian claimed Cox had a history of seeking payoffs in exchange for retracting similar allegations, according to the opinion, and that Cox had admitted her post was untrue. (Sidenote here by Crystal Cox, I never admitted such, the courts took it to this stage. I have always and do alway claim Kevin Padrick was Corrupt and defrauded investors, as well as lot's of unspeakable crimes. Also there was Never a History of COX, me, seeking a payoff to remove my reporting. See Also my appeal of my win, at this link
https://ninthcircuitcrystalcoxappeal.blogspot.com/2014/02/blogger-crystal-cox-through-her.html  Whereby my attorney, at my DEMAND, sought to hold the Ninth Circuit Judges in my case, accountable for their False Claims against me in a their high court Ruling.  I lost this appeal, however, as an activist litigant, I made the point as far as I see it.  Also check out, https://ninthcircuitcrystalcoxappeal.blogspot.com/2014/12/it-is-not-ok-for-judges-to-accuse-you.html

Now Back to Mayer Brown Press Release

“Ms. Cox's false and defamatory statements have caused substantial damage to our clients, and we are evalu ating our options with respect to the court's decision,” Steven Wilker of Tonkon Torp LLP said.

Judges Andrew D. Hurwitz, Arthur L. Alarcon and Milan D. Smith Jr. sat on the panel for the Ninth Circuit.

Obsidian is represented by Steven Wilker, Robyn Aoyagi and David Aman of Tonkon Torp LLP.

Cox is represented by Eugene Volokh of Mayer Brown LLP.

The cases are Obsidian Finance Group LLC et al. v. Crystal Cox, case number 12-35238 and 12-35319, in
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Source, Mayer Brown Law Firm Press Release 2014
https://www.mayerbrown.com/-/media/files/news/2014/01/bloggers-get-same-speech-protections-as-press-9th/files/bloggers-get-same-speech-protections-as-press-9th/fileattachment/bloggers-get-same-speech-protections-as-press-9th.pdf

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Cited in massive legal cases, taught in Law School. The First of It's Kind Obsidian v. Cox

The First High Court RULING affirming that BLOGGERS have Equal Rights as ALL Journalists.


"Why a U.S. court ruled bloggers and journalists should be equally protected" ~ Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox

"Bloggers should enjoy the same legal protection as journalists.

Harry Roque Jr.

This was the recent ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the case of Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox.

In the aforementioned case, Crystal Cox, an American blogger, claimed that Obsidian finance company was guilty of tax fraud.

The U.S. District Court earlier found Cox guilty of defamation and awarded the finance company US$ 2.5M in damages. The lower court issued its ruling anchored on the assumption that, since Cox is a blogger and not a journalist, a complainant in a defamation suit is entitled to the presumption of “legal malice or a presumption that the defamatory statement is presumed malicious.”

Further, Cox, as a “mere” blogger is not entitled to invoke the definition of actual malice established in the New York Times vs. Sullivan case. The 1964 US Supreme Court ruling set the precedent for the rule that journalists can only be held liable for false information if they knew of its falsity or in utter disregard of the same. Ten years after Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gertz v. Robert Welch that the First Amendment required only a “negligence standard for private defamation actions.”

The First Amendment refers to an amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. that guarantees the right to free expression that includes freedom of speech, freedom of the press; or the right of the people to peaceful assembly, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

By ruling that bloggers are entitled to the same protection as journalists, the US Court of Appeals covering the jurisdiction of California ruled that the case involved an intersection between Sullivan and Gertz “an area not yet fully explored x x x in the context of a medium of publication—the internet—entirely unknown at the time of those decisions.”

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court, the Appellate Court ruled:” that a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media. . .the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.”

The dilemma is precisely because of a lack of precision on who are, in fact, in the law defined as journalists. In fact, a separate definition on who a journalist is indicates a lack of consensus even from those who profess to practice the profession.

For instance, the United States Congress, in a draft of a Federal shield law, defines a journalist as “one who works for a traditional media organization for pay or gain,” a definition adopted as well by the UNESCO. This excludes bloggers altogether from the protection of the proposed shield law.

On one hand, the Human Rights Committee in its General Comment, defines it as “a function shared by a wide variety of actors, including professionals, full-time reporters, and analysts, as well as bloggers and others who engage in forms of self-publications in print, on the internet, or elsewhere.”

But outside the definition of who a journalist is, the actual distinction between a regular media outfit and bloggers is the existence of a hierarchy of editorial controls to ensure accuracy in the news and fairness in commentary. This is why traditional journalists themselves sometimes scoff at the notion that “just about anyone can be a journalist.”

In fact, Philippine jurisprudence even distinguishes between the amount of latitude given to the media in making factual errors depending on whether it is a “weekly” or a “daily,” with the latter being given wider latitude for mistakes.

All these miss the point, though. There is protection accorded by the bill of rights not just to freedom of the press, but to freedom of expression in general.

The normative values of these two freedoms are identical: to discern the truth and to facilitate “open, robust and even virulent discussion of public issues.” If both freedoms have the same normative content, why should the courts distinguish between an input to the market place of ideas coming from one who earns a living by it and one who does so anyway as a public duty?

The U.S. Court of Appeal’s decisions, in my view, correctly refused a distinction between institutional media and bloggers because to recognize such would also violate the equal protection clause. This is another constitutional guarantee that those similarly situated will be treated alike.

Had the court limited the protection of freedom of expression to professional journalists alone, it would send the message that only professional journalists can contribute to the public debate on public issues. This is contrary to the basic tenet that freedom of expression is a human right, not just a right of journalists.

In any case, the fact that journalists are paid and bloggers are not does not constitute a real basis for distinction.

In Abrams, Holmes wrote; “the true test of truth is the power of a thought to be accepted in the market place of ideas.” Certainly, Holmes did not write that only paid journalists could contribute to this market. — KDM, GMA News

Prof. Harry L. Roque, Jr. is an Associate Professor at the UP College of Law and the chairperson of the Center For International Law."


American blogger Crystal Cox already won the case against a U.S. ... the U.S. Court of Appeals in the case of Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox.

Source of Free Speech Legal Case WON by Blogger Crystal Cox of Port Townsend Washington
https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/opinion/content/347461/why-a-u-s-court-ruled-bloggers-and-journalists-should-be-equally-protected/story/

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF THE RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE IN SUPPORT OF THE APPELLANTS AND REVERSAL

"More recently, the Ninth Circuit recognized that “the protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the [party] was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story.” Obsidian Financial Group, LLC v. Cox, 740 F.3d 1284, 1291 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 2680 (2014). 

It pointed out that “a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: ‘With the advent of the internet and the decline of print and broadcast media . . . the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.’”

Id. at 1291 (quoting Citizens United v. Fed. Election Comm’n, 558, U.S. 310, 352 (2010)). As one court wrote in recognizing the constitutional rights of citizens to record police in public, developments in technology “make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.” Glik, 655 F.3d at 84. "


Source
https://www.aclupa.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/amicus_brief_of_rutherford_institute_-_103116_.pdf

Saturday, December 28, 2019

"Urban Legends of the Bill of Rights: First Amendment"

"You’ve heard that the Bill of Rights protects group rights - you heard wrong.

Every right protected in the Bill of Rights is an individual right. There is no such thing as a collective right or a group right under the Founders’ Constitution. Every right - the free exercise of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, the right to a trial by jury, the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, etc. - is a right that belongs to every individual American. It belongs to him as an individual and not because he is a part of a favored group.

You’ve heard that churches have religious liberty rights because they are churches - you heard wrong.         

The fact that constitutional rights are individual rights is clarifying in a number of ways. For instance, churches do not have religious liberty rights because they are churches. They have religious liberty rights because every individual in them has religious liberty rights.

Newspapers do not have the right to freedom of the press because they are newspapers. They have the right to freedom of the press because every reporter who works for one does.

This, by the way, answers the question about whether bloggers or Facebook posters or Tweeters have freedom of the press rights even though they are not professional journalists or members of the institutional press. Of course they do.

Every individual American possesses the right to publish his opinions in any form whether he gets paid to do it or not. A blogger has exactly the same right to freedom of the press as a reporter for the New York Times.

Amazingly, even the 9th Circuit nailed this in 2014 when they ruled in the Obsidian v. Cox case that blogger Crystal Cox was entitled to the First Amendment right to freedom of the press. "As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable." 

This is why the Court was certainly correct in its Citizens United ruling, which authorized corporations to engage in electioneering.

The reason is simple: associations are simply associations of a whole bunch of individuals who possess the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of political speech. Because every member of an association possesses an individual right to freedom of speech, then the association does too because members of the association do not forfeit fundamental constitutional rights just because they work in concert with other individuals who have the same right.

Said the Court, "If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech."

It might be added that churches constitutionally have exactly the same constitutional right. A church consists of an association of individuals who have the right not only to the freedom of religion but also to freedom of speech.

IRS or no, there is no way under the Founders’ Constitution for churches to be restricted from engaging in as much electioneering as they wish. Now the vast majority of churches won’t, but that’s not the point. They all, each and every one of them, have that right and may exercise it if they wish.

The liberal black church has engaged in direct political action for decades. Politicians speak in their pulpits regularly on the Sundays immediately prior to elections, and their pastors urge their parishioners to vote for the Democrat they just heard from the pulpit. Constitutionally, there is nothing wrong with this in any way, shape or form. The problem is when the IRS tries to stop conservative churches from doing the same thing. That’s an infringement on their First Amendment right to freedom of speech as well as their right to the free exercise of religion.

The author may be contacted at bfischer@afa.net"

Source
https://www.afa.net/the-stand/culture/2019/09/urban-legends-of-the-bill-of-rights-first-amendment/

Sunday, December 22, 2019

It is NOT Ok for Judges to Accuse YOU of a Criminal Act in a Federal Court of Appeals Ruling on a Civil Trial whereby no Criminal Charges were Filed and there was NO adjudicated Facts. Judges are NOT above the Law. Blogger Crystal Cox Calls out Overreaching Ninth Circuit Judges.

It is not Right, not Legal, and not Constitutional to accuse an Anti-Corruption Blogger of a CRIME in a Civil Case Ruling whereby that Blogger had no due process, no criminal investigation, no trial and no way to present evidence in defense of those allegations. No lower court ruling in any way.

Yet Ninth Circuit Judges accused an Anti-Corruption Blogger of criminal activity in a higher court, federal court of appeals ruling. And the "evidence" the Ninth Circuit Judges states as proof was a New York Times article of which was not based on any judicial finding or adjudicated fact.

In a Landmark Ruling that sets the Bar on First Amendment Rights of Bloggers and ENDS the Monopoly of Free Speech in which Big Media had for so long, as if in opposition to it's own ruling that bloggers have EQUALITY with the New York Times, we see higher court Judges using that same "Big Media", the New York Times, as adjudicated FACT that a blogger engaged in criminal activity and in a high court esteemed RULING, these Judges simply accuses Blogger Crystal Cox of felonious activities and extortionate acts with NO proof, no adjudicated facts and ONLY citing a New York Times article as proof of their defamatory, speech chilling, unconstitutional "pot shots" against a blogger exposing corruption judges, attorneys, cops, and giving voice to victims of all corruption.  


This action is illegal, immoral and unconstitutional yet Judges do it all the time from Family Court to a Federal Court of Appeals across the United States. They do this same technique to "frame", set up, discredit, bully, harass and defame bloggers, citizen journalists and whistleblowers in every town who are exposing judicial corruption at every level. 



Investigative Blogger Crystal Cox says it is not Ethical, Lawful, Nor Constitutional for a Judicial Ruling to accuse litigants of crimes they have not been convicted of. Crystal Cox says this is HOW Judges and Lawyers silence those exposing corruption.

Below is a bit of "media" on Blogger Crystal Cox appealing the Ninth Circuit Judges pot shot accusing her of criminal activity in a court of appeals ruling on a civil case.

"Despite her First Amendment court victory, Montana blogger Crystal Cox doesn’t like the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals suggestion that she shakes down reporting subjects for money in exchange for retractions.  So she has asked for a retraction of her own from the court.

In January, the circuit held for the first time that bloggers like Cox have the same First Amendment protections as traditional media.  

That was a big victory for bloggers generally and included overturning a $2.5 million libel verdict against Cox based on her accusations of fraud against a bankruptcy trustee.

What Cox didn’t like was a single sentence in the opinion by Judge Andrew Hurwitz that stated,

“Cox apparently has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction.”

Last week, her lawyer Eugene Volokh asked the court to amend its opinion, not to change the substance of the ruling, but to delete the offending sentence.  The claim of “payoffs” was based on a single New York Times article in 2011.

“A judicial assertion of misconduct by a named person, even a judicial assertion modified with the word ‘apparently,’ could be based on the record in a case, or authoritative finding by another court.  

But it ought not be based on a newspaper column, which was written without the benefit of cross-examination, sworn testimony, or the other safeguards of the judicial process,” Volokh wrote. He said there “seems to be no ‘history’ of ‘seeking payoffs’ claimed in the article, he said.

Not surprisingly, some news outlets repeated the sentence but omitted the term “apparently,” he said.  Journalists may perceive it as a factual finding, not just recitation of a newspaper column’s claim.

Thus Cox has asked for the court to redact the sentence from its opinion."

Source of the Quote Above
http://www.trialinsider.com/?p=4569

Here is Eugene Volokh's Motion to Rehear
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzn2NurXrSkib1NraEFFb1Rac2M/edit

Crystal Cox's Statement In Support of Motion to Rehear
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sfa6KPy3ur6pBOcUF64CfvRFKM-n0ASMWhpUPC4G43Q/edit


Blogger Crystal Cox was DENIED the removal of the defamatory remarks by the very JUDGES who made the remarks, which Cox claims is a conflict of interest and violates her rights.

After this Blogger Crystal Cox goes Pro Se again and files an appeal Petition to the Supreme Court. Below are the Details of that Filing. 


Crystal Cox Blogger; Petition for a Writ of Certiorari; First Amendment, Free Speech, Defamation Lawsuit, Shield Laws, Retractions Laws; Crystal Cox v. Obsidian Finance Group LLC 13-9731

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES; Obsidian Finance Group v. Crystal L. Cox; Supreme Court of the United States Filing;


"The Petitioner is an Activist Litigant making a stand 

for the rights of all 

Citizen Journalists, Anti-Corruption Bloggers."


Crystal Cox v. Obsidian Finance Group, LLC, et al; No. 13-9731

INTRODUCTION

Petitioner requests this court to issue a ruling that requires the Ninth Circuit to redact criminal allegations of Petitioner in a Ninth Circuit civil court ruling dated January 17th, 2014, Obsidian v. Cox, Ninth Circuit Case Number; 12-35319; D.C. No. 3:11-cv-00057- HZ.

This issue is a matter that affects all members of the public.

Ninth Circuit Judges; Judge Arthur L. Alarcón, Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr.,and Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz, stated:

“. Cox apparently has a history of making similar
allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction.
See David Carr, When Truth Survives Free Speech, N.Y.
Times, Dec. 11, 2011, at B1. Padrick and Obsidian sent Cox a cease-and-desist letter, but she continued posting
allegations. This defamation suit ensued.”

Defendant Crystal Cox has no history of posting anything online and seeking a retraction for a payment. This is not based in fact, and has NEVER happened, as the court record clearly shows.

Cox was never “determined” by any court to have posted allegation, then sought a retraction, then continued posting and was sued. This is factually incorrect. 

Cox alleges the Ninth Circuit violated her constitutional rights in alleging criminal activity and has stated in error, the events leading up to her defamation suit.

Cox asks this court to rule that criminal allegations be redacted from the Obsidian v. Cox Ninth Circuit ruling dated January 17th, 2014.

Petitioner Cox understands that it is at the sole judicial discretion of this court to hear this matter.  

Cox prays that this court will hear this matter as these judicial actions will potentially chill speech and violate the rights of other citizen journalists, whistleblowers and anti-corruption bloggers such as Cox.



QUESTIONS PRESENTED

Petitioner requests this court to decide the following questions:

Does Petitioner, Defendant, Litigants in a Civil Case have a Human Right, Constitutional Right, and right under U.S. Code to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty?

Do Ninth Circuit Judges have the legal authority to issue an opinion on criminal allegations in a civil case in which the criminal allegation is not a matter of record in the lower court, has not been adjudicated and is not a material factor of the case?

Does Petitioner, Litigants, in a Civil Case have a legal right to due process of law, in cases where Judges RULE that Litigants, such as petitioner have committed crimes of which Petitioner was not on trial for nor was a matter of record in the lower court ?

Do Ninth Circuit Judges have to find a Defendant Guilty of a Crime, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, or to have been Adjudicated of that crime in a U.S Court, BEFORE they rule that a litigant such as petitioner is guilty of this criminal behavior or criminal activities?

Do litigants, such as petitioner, have a Fourteenth Amendment Rights, Bill of Rights
and Due Process of Law Rights that have to be adjudicated for a crime before a Ninth Circuit Judicial Panel can issue an “opinion” in a highly publicized, higher court, esteemed ruling, regarding that alleged crime?

Do Ninth Circuit Judges have a lawful right to use a New York Times article as adjudicated fact and material evidence to issue a ruling that a litigant in a civil case is guilty of criminal activity?

Is it Lawful for Ninth Circuit Judges to use gossip, hearsay and the rantings of a New York Times Journalist as adjudicated fact, and use this as factual evidence in a Ninth Circuit Ruling?

Can the Court of Appeals Prejudice a Litigant with false and defamatory language in a ruling?  
Does a litigant have a right to have the language in the ruling challenged or reviewed by an independent Court, (for example, the Supreme or another Appellate Court not involved in the decision with the defamatory and legally abusive language that prejudices the rights of the litigant in rehearing) ?

Does the court have the right to defame and slander litigants and deny due process?

Do judges have the right to convict litigants of crimes in judicial rulings 
based on New York Times articles?

Do Judges have a right to deny due process in lower courts by issuing a ruling that convicts litigants of crimes, thereby prejudicing them with a jury of their peers, as they return to have a new trial?

Do judges involved in a slanderous, possibly criminally defamatory statement have a legal and constitutional right to rule on whether they rehear this issue of them acting inappropriately and unlawful in that very ruling?

Is it lawful and within the constitutional rights of a Defendant such as Petitioner, for a panel of judges to use a New York Times article to convict a litigant in a civil trial of a crime of which they have not been adjudicated of ?"



" REASONS WHY THIS WRIT SHOULD ISSUE

To establish firm guidelines for all district court, judges and appellate courts that it is not constitutional, ethical nor lawful to render rulings that accuse litigants of criminal activity of which they have not had due process of law in regard to. To guarantee the rights, liberty, equality, freedom, due process rights, and free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution for all citizens, pro se litigants, anti-corruption bloggers, citizen journalists and whistleblowers alike. To guarantee the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of all. To guarantee the rights of due process and the Bill of Rights to all. To end extreme prejudice by local, state, and federal judges whom use their power and position to silence, intimidate, suppress speech, bully, paint in false light, slander and defame litigants who expose corruption in the judicial system and of whom they have extreme prejudice in regard to.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This case involves wrongful, non-adjudicated allegations of criminal conduct made by Ninth Circuit Judges ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ against Petitioner, Defendant Cox and clearly violating her constitutional rights, human rights, and rights to due process, as a matter of law. ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ Stated that Petitioner Cox; " has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction." 
Which thereby leads the public at large, media and the lower court in her pending $10 Million dollar Civil Case, to believe that Cox has been under investigation by authorities and found guilty of the crime of extortion or blackmail. As it is ILLEGAL to make allegations and seek a payoff to retract those allegations. Cox prays this Court orders the Ninth Circuit to redact the above statement.

Petitioner Cox alleges that it is not fair, ethical, equitable in rights, constitutional, nor appropriate as a matter of law and rules of procedure for Ninth Circuit judges or District Court Judges to state unrelated allegations, rumor and speculation in an esteemed higher court ruling, that is published to the world and affects the life of Petitioner forever, as well as affects all whistleblowers, citizen journalists and anti-corruption bloggers like her. Petitioner Cox alleges that it is an abuse of power and process, and an extreme violation of her human and civil rights, for Judges to use hearsay and rumors as adjudicated fact in an esteemed, higher court process, and to seek revenge, retaliate, and use extreme prejudice against Petitioner and litigants like her by using a prestigious court ruling to paint Petitioner in false light, slander and defame Petitioner and cause her a lifetime of irreparable harm. 


Petitioner alleges that it is the duty of Ninth Circuit judges to report anyone they deem a danger to the public. If ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ believe Cox to have a history of extortionate or blackmailing conduct, then it is their duty as public servants to order a criminal investigation by the proper authorities and it is NOT their duty, nor legal right to simply, flat out state, that Cox has a history of these criminal actions and thereby defame and slander Cox and put her under extreme prejudice as she heads back to the lower court Pro Se to face a $10 Million dollar civil court proceeding.
Petitioner and bloggers, whistleblowers, citizen journalists like her, face extreme prejudice in the courts, as they are oftentimes exposing judges, attorneys and people in powerful positions such as CEO’s and Politicians. This court ruling, essentially gives the rights to all Judges at every level of our court system, and essentially all institutional press “traditional journalists” to simply accuse litigants of crimes, activities, or unethical behavior, based on gossip and hearsay of an institutional press journalists such as Kashmir Hill of Forbes or David Carr of the New York Times, and have that be stated in a Ninth Circuit ruling as adjudicated fact. Petitioner alleges that it violates her constitutional rights and the rights of those who engage in the same online activity as her, for Judges to essentially take “pot shots”, add in gossip and hearsay into a ruling and thereby slander, defame and ruin the life of the litigant. 

Especially in cases such as the petitioner where she faces a retrial in a $10 million dollar civil case where she is indigent and cannot afford an attorney and this criminal accusation prejudices her lower court ruling before the trial even begins.

Petitioner alleges that allowing Ninth Circuit judges to state arbitrary allegations and accusations in authoritative higher court opinions, will potentially chill the online speech of all bloggers, whistleblowers, citizen journalists. As they will fear the same thing happening to them. This is a critical first amendment issue. And a critical issue of due process laws, the fourteenth amendment, civil rights and human rights. Petitioner alleges that she has a constitutional right to due process in the criminal justice system and that it violates her constitutional rights for higher court, esteemed judges to rule on matters of her alleged criminal activity BEFORE she has been adjudicated or under investigation by the proper courts and legal procedure in the criminal justice system. These accusations by Ninth Circuit judges prejudice the litigants such as petitioner in the re-trial at the D.C. level and put them under extreme prejudice in all matters of their life, even things as simple as renting a home or getting a job. 

Those researching litigants such as petitioner find a higher court ruling, issued by esteemed judges in a powerful position of which the public at large deems to be of the utmost authority, in which accuses the litigant of criminal activities, of extortionate behavior. 

This is a violation of Petitioners rights of due process and constitutional rights, as she now faces extreme prejudice, hate, inequality and duress in all aspects of her life. She is deemed a criminal, when she has not had due process in the criminal justice system. This precedence now makes it so that judges everywhere can do this same thing to essentially punish, retaliate against whistleblowers, citizen journalists and anti-corruption bloggers. Does Petitioner, Defendant, Litigants in a Civil Case have a Human Right, Constitutional Right, and right under U.S. Code to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty? 

Petitioner alleges that she has a constitutional right for it to be proven, as a matter of law, "beyond a reasonable doubt" that she is guilty of a crime, before Judges are allowed, by law, to state those allegations in a court ruling, a court opinion. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof that must be met in any trial. In civil litigation, the standard of proof is either proof by a preponderance of the evidence or proof by clear and convincing evidence. There was neither in the Ninth Circuit appeal of Obsidian v. Cox. Petitioner Cox alleges that Judges must have “Clear and Convincing Proof” beyond a reasonable doubt BEFORE they are, by law allowed to state such allegations in a higher court ruling. Cox was not on trial for crimes or civil matters involving allegations, investigations or even a cause of action regarding posting content or allegations of others online and then seeking a payoff to remove those allegations, (aKa Extortion or Blackmail). 

Cox was on trial for defamation, and that this was the only cause of action. 

There was no "seeking a payoff" to remove allegations, as a material factor of Obsidian v. Cox nor a factor in this case what so ever, therefore it was not a matter of record and cannot legally be brought into the Ninth Circuit proceeding, and certainly not, as a matter of law and constitutional rights, be stated in a Ninth Circuit court of appeals ruling, opinion. 
Petitioner Cox alleges that her Due Process of Law, Fourteenth Amendment Rights, and her rights under the Bill of Rights, have been violated by Judges accusing her of criminal activity in rulings / opinions in civil cases of which these crimes have nothing to do with. Cox alleges this is retaliation for her exposing corruption that involves judges, and people with financial and political power. Petitioner Cox alleges that she has a fundamental, constitutional guarantee that all legal proceedings will be fair and that one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away one's life, liberty, or property. 

Yet Cox was not given notice of the crimes alleged, nor a way to present her side. 

Cox was not given due process, as a matter of law and constitutional rights and Cox has thus lost her life as she knew it, her liberty and has lost personal property in this matter. The due process clause of the Fifth Amendment asserts that no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." 

This amendment restricts the powers of the federal government and applies only to actions by it. Petitioner Cox was not given due process, and was simply ruled guilty of criminal activities, with a New York Times article as material evidence in the matter and was thereby “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,declares,"[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" (§ 1). Yet petitioner Cox was not given due process in the criminal justice system nor has Cox been adjudicated for or even under investigation for the crime of extortion, yet high court judges accused Cox of extortionate behavior in a ruling of a civil case, a defamation case, unrelated in it’s material fact, evidence and testimony to the crime of extortion and to of having “a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction.”, which is essentially the felony crime of blackmail, or extortion. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has also been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the twentieth century to incorporate protections of the Bill of Rights, so that those protections apply to the states as well as to the federal government. 

Thus, the Due Process Clause serves as the means whereby the Bill of Rights has become binding on state governments as well as on the federal government. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is intended to protect individuals such as Petitioner from arbitrary actions by state as well as federal governments, which includes the arbitrary actions of an esteemed higher court judicial panel in accusing petition and future litigants like her, of criminal activity of which was not a material factor in her case, and was simply hearsay by a traditional journalist of the institutional press, in this case a New York Time journalist, David Carr.

Due process requires that the procedures by which laws are applied must be evenhanded, and in this case there was severe prejudice and inequality and Cox has thereby suffered harm, and wishes this court to remedy this ruling to protect future anti-corruption bloggers, citizen journalists and whistle blowers such as herself. Petitioner Cox alleges that, under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983, and other human rights and civil rights laws, and constitutional amendments, that the actions of these judges deprived her of "fundamental fairness" and of Civil Rights under the Due Process Clause. 

And now has the potential to do so to ALL future anti-corruption bloggers, citizen journalists and whistle blowers such as herself. 

And with this gives far reaching, unconstitutional powers to the institutional press and traditional journalists to publish gossip, hearsay and allegations and have Ninth Circuit judges and judges across the land, use these traditional journalists “opinion”, “writings”, “allegations” as adjudicated facts, hard and fast evidence, and sworn testimony that gives them the right to issue opinions and rulings that flat out accuse litigants such as petitioner of criminal activity of which they have not had due process of law in regard to. The Bill of Rights contains provisions that are central to procedural due process. 

These protections give a person a number of rights and freedoms including the right to be told of the crime being charged; the right to cross-examine witnesses; the right to be represented by an attorney; freedom from Cruel and Unusual Punishment; and the right to demand that the state prove any charges Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Petitioner Cox was deprived of these rights, as Judges simply portrayed to the world she was guilty of criminal acts without having due process and without being told of the crime being charged; the right to cross-examine witnesses; the right to be represented by an attorney; freedom from Cruel and Unusual Punishment; and the right to demand that the state prove any charges Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. The Decision of the Ninth Circuit to allow statement of non-adjudicated criminal accusations to be put into a ruling in a civil case, whereby the litigant has not had due process for those allegations is Clearly Incorrect. Ninth Circuit Judges ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ erred in stating that Cox had a history of these criminal activities and erred in stating the New York Times as their evidence of fact and material facts of law. Petitioner Cox alleges that Ninth Circuit Judges do not have a lawful, constitutional right to issue an opinion on criminal allegations in a civil case in which the criminal allegation is not a matter of record in the lower court, has not been adjudicated and is not a material factor of the case. Petitioner Cox alleges that she was denied a legal right to due process of law in this ruling that slandered and defamed her, and painted her in false light, thereby affecting the rest of her life. Petitioner Cox alleges that Ninth Circuit Judges ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ did not find Cox guilty of these allegations beyond a reasonable doubt nor did they adjudicate Cox, charge Cox with these allegations nor use adjudicated facts in issuing their judicial authority (opinion), (ruling). 

And that it was an error to rule that Cox had a history of such criminal actions when Cox was not allowed due process and constitutional rights regarding these allegations. Petitioner Cox alleges that Ninth Circuit Judges ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ violated her Fourteenth Amendment Rights, Bill of Rights and Due Process of Law Rights by alleging Cox committed these criminal actions of which she had not been charged by a lower court nor the criminal justice system, as a matter of law. Petitioner Cox alleges that Ninth Circuit Judges ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ prejudiced her substantial rights, and this was not a harmless error as Cox now faces extreme hate, prejudice, slander and defamation and has a other judicial proceedings that are now prejudiced against her. If Ninth Circuit Judges ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ believed Cox to have committed theses Criminal acts, they SHOULD go through due process of law. Judges are NOT above the law.




CONCLUSION

I Pray that this esteemed panel, this court, send a clear message to the Ninth Circuit, and essentially all Appellate Judges and all judges across our court system, that it is not ok, not ethical, not constitutional nor lawful to ad lib, make criminal allegations, introduce new case information into the appeal process, slander and defame litigants, and abuse the power of their process and esteemed role to retaliate against whistleblowers, citizen journalists, and anti-corruption bloggers in every town in the United States and essential the world. The Obsidian v. Cox, Ninth Circuit ruling is known well, worldwide and is the most prominent case to date of a blogger making a court rule on whether a blogger has rights equal to a journalist when it comes to the First Amendment, Shield Laws, Retraction Laws and Free Speech Rights. 


This is a massive human rights and civil rights issue, as now all who expose corruption and break news, report on what is really happening in small towns, big cities and essential everywhere, have the same rights in the courtroom as does traditional journalists and the institutional press aKa big media. Therefore it is imperative that this ruling does not be tainted with giving those same traditional journalists of the institutional press, super powers to have that same blogger alienated, outcast, painted in false light, prejudiced in other court proceedings, and have the world at large believe them to be a criminal and therefore not taken serious that in which they are exposing or reporting on. This ruling that gave equality, seemed to have took it away in the very same ruling. Petition Cox has NEVER, not even once in her life, posted anything online with the intention of seeking a payment for a retraction. 

Cox has NEVER asked for money to remove anything she has posted online, and yet Ninth Circuit Judges ARTHUR L. ALARCON, MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ are claiming, in a Ninth Circuit ruling that Cox has a “History” of doing such actions, seriously criminal, unconstitutional and unethical action. 

As if Cox has a pattern and history of illegal, unethical behavior, of which there is NO History or Pattern. If these judges are allowed to put these unsubstantiated, unadjudicated, extremely biased and prejudice criminal allegations into a ruling in a civil case, then this will chill the speech of those in the future wishing to, wanting, or trying to expose corruption in their area of expertise, town, or state.

In Truth Petitioner Cox has dedicated her life, lost everything and been under extreme threats, retaliation, and extreme prejudice for nearly a decade, all because she did the right thing and stood up for others, for strangers and used her internet marketing skills to give voice to the victims of corrupt detectives, county commissioners, judges, cops, politicians, real estate companies, banks, finance companies, and victims of human trafficking, pedophilia, rape, and severe abuse.
Cox was RULED guilty of a crime of which she was not on trial for, was not adjudicated for and was not under investigation for. A crime that was NOT a material factor in Obsidian Finance Group v. Crystal Cox. 

It is not legal, due process, nor constitutional for these judges to have stated these false, unadjudicated allegations. Petitioner respectfully request that the Ninth Circuit Court amend its opinion to withhold the sentence that now says, Cox apparently has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction. See David Carr, When Truth Survives Free Speech , N.Y. Times, Dec. 11, 2011, at B1. 

A judicial assertion of misconduct by a named person, even a judicial assertion modified with the word “apparently,” could be based on the record in a case, or on authoritative findings by another court. But it ought not be based on a newspaper column, which was written without the benefit of cross-examination, sworn testimony, or the other safeguards of the judicial process. 

The claims in the columnist’s assertion are neither facts found by a fact finder nor facts subject to judicial notice under Fed. R. Evid. 201. Adding this statement to the Obsidian v. Cox ruling dated January 17th, 2014 is Legally Flawed and Has Far-Reaching Consequences, and is thereby Warranting Review in This Case. This issue affects all who are reporting news, all citizen journalists, all victims of corruption at every level and all whistleblowers. 

If a Ninth Circuit panel can rule that any individual has committed crimes without that person having been investigated or given due process for those allegations, and use a New York Times article as evidence of those crimes, then this potentially affects every citizen in the United States and is a very important issue for all lawmakers, citizens, and the judicial process as a whole.
The Court should grant the petition. "  

Source of Crystal Cox Blogger Supreme Court Filing


Crystal Cox, Free Speech Case fighting to Equal rights of bloggers, Citizen Journalists, Whistleblowers as New York Times, Forbes and other traditional, mainstream media.

Blogger Crystal Cox filed to the Supreme Court Pro Se

Here is a Video of Crystal Cox regarding her 
PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkYW7nl4774


Here is the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari that Blogger Crystal Cox filed to 
the United States Supreme Court to Stand up for the rights of all Bloggers, 
Citizen Journalists and Whistleblowers


Start a Blog, Expose Corruption.
Report the NEWS in your Area.

YOU are the NEWS !!!


YOU are the MEDIA !!!