Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Elena Kagan / Amazing Randi connection:

If you're a fan of the Amazing Randi, this story is of interest: (I think Kagan and Randi are in the wrong in this instance)
Sometimes, Kagan played a more prominent role, as in a dispute that pitted "The Amazing Randi" against Eldon Byrd.

Randi made his mark by attacking spoon-bender Uri Geller's claims of having psychic powers. In the late 1980s, Randi called Byrd, an ally of Geller's who'd been put on probation for distributing sexually explicit material, a child molester.

Byrd sued for libel, naming Randi and the publishers of his allegations.

Representing Montcalm Publishing, the publisher of The Twilight Zone magazine, Kagan drafted motions and argued before the Baltimore-based trial judge. She stressed broad First Amendment principles, such as when an individual's reputation already was tainted enough to be libel-proof.

However, the jury found in June 1993 that Randi had defamed Byrd, although it awarded no damages. By then, Kagan had moved to the University of Chicago Law School, where she was writing scholarly articles on the First Amendment.


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