Rep. Devin Nunes Now Threatening To Sue Fellow Congressional Reps

from the frivolous-lawsuits-for-everyone dept

It really wasn't that long ago that Rep. Devin Nunes was a co-sponsor of the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act. Of course, since then, he's been filing a whole bunch of frivolous lawsuits against news organizations, journalists, political operatives, critics, and, most famously, a satirical internet cow.

At times he's admitted that these lawsuits are about fishing for journalist's sources, but it certainly seems pretty clear that this is all an intimidation campaign, by a silly little man who is an elected representative in Congress and simply can't handle criticism. Of course, as more evidence comes out that, at the very least, suggests that Nunes is somehow tied up with all of the mess around impeachment -- including reports revealing that the indicted Lev Parnas spoke by phone with Nunes -- he seems to be getting more and more upset with anyone calling him out.

The latest is that fellow California Representative Ted Lieu noted on Twitter that Nunes' lawyer sent him a letter threatening to sue Lieu for saying "that Nunes conspired with Parnas."

Unfortunately, Lieu hasn't yet released that letter, but I'm hoping he does. I'd be curious to see if Nunes tries to sue Lieu in Virginia like most of his other lawsuits, rather than California. Also, I'd love to see how Nunes and his lawyer think they can get around the Speech or Debate Clause.

In the meantime, Ted Lieu, we really could use more people in Congress supporting a federal anti-SLAPP law. Seems like now might be a good time for you to support such a law, right?

Filed Under: 1st amendment, anti-slapp, defamation, devin nunes, free speech, lev parnas, slapp, speech or debate clause, ted lieu, threats

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  1. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2020 @ 12:59pm

    If you’ll notice, I’ve never once said “you must stop saying [x] or else”. And I’ll cop to using a handful of terms on that list — notably, “blind” when describing an unquestioning type of loyalty.

    My whole point has been about personal consideration. (The fact that those two words can be initialized as “PC” is intentional.) Changing the language we use on a daily basis isn’t terribly hard in the long term, but getting started on that road is a bit of a pain in the ass. Catching yourself before you say something ignorant presents a lot of challenges in a day and age where lots of language that nobody questioned in the past may seem “off limits” today (e.g., practically your entire list of words). But the point of using personally considerate language is that you’re thinking of others. You’re trying to change the way you talk out of compassion for others rather than wholly self-serving interests. Political correctness, on the other hand, is all about changing how you talk entirely for self-serving interests (e.g., to keep your ass out of a PR inferno). And yes, there is a difference between the two.

    I’m not claiming to be perfect; nobody walks on water, not even the goddamned Pope. Alls I am is a work in progress: I’m trying to be a little better today than I was the day before. A small part of that is consciously trying to choose better language for expressing ideas, even if it limits my overall vocabulary. Another part of that is trying to help others do the same without judging them for their past use of “offensive” language or ordering them to use personally considerate language. Again: Not claiming I’m perfect at either or both of those, but I’m trying to be a little better about it each day.

    The whole reason for talking about ableist language is to help us examine our unconscious biases. In doing so, we can come to understand how such language shapes the way we view our society and how it works. (“Hysterical”, for example, has long been used by men to dismiss the concerns of women — up to and including accusations of sexual assault.) We improve as a society when we examine, and do our best to downplay or rid ourselves of, such biases and the ways we reinforce them. It ain’t easy, sure. But nothing worth doing ever is.

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