Casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson has filed a $60 million libel suit against the National Jewish Democratic Council. The NJDC had demanded that Mitt Romney and other Republicans refuse donations from Adelson because he had “personally approved of prostitution at his Macau resorts.” The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee repeated the same claim, but backed down in response to Adelson’s threat of a lawsuit, admitting that “the statements were untrue and unfair and we retract them.”
The lawsuit against the NJDC alleges that their goal in making these accusations “was to advance their perceived political interests by assassinating Mr. Adelson’s character, punishing him for exercising his right to make monetary contributions to political causes and candidates of his choice, and demeaning him within the Jewish community.”
However, the NJDC has refused to acknowledge its error, and is planning to take this battle to court: “We will not be bullied into submission, and we will not be silenced by power. This is not Putin’s Russia, and in America, political speech regarding one of the most well-known public figures in our country is a fundamental right.” But is libelous speech a fundamental right?