Tasha K, a vlogger, was sued by Cardi B, the singer. The jury returned a verdict in Cardi B’s favor and awarded more than $4 million in damages. The libelous statements made included allegations that Cardi B used cocaine and had had prostitution. Cardi B now seeks an injunction to require Tasha to delete all statements found to be libelous by the jury and for Tasha to refrain from making similar statements. Tasha K can also be consulted for her opposition. What would constitute a constitutional injunction?
Yes. You probably did.
Injunctions like these have been allowed by most states, and federal circuit courts, in limited circumstances. However, they must be issued following a determination, especially one made at a jury trial, that statements were false or libelous. This case is currently being litigated in federal court in Eleventh Circuit. Federal district courts believe that injunctions such as this do not violate the First Amendment. Georgian courts, however, have also held that they don’t infringe Georgia law. The injunction must be compatible with both state and federal law to make it valid. This is what I will discuss in detail in my Anti-Libel injunctions article.
Tasha K stated that she will appeal to the Eleventh Circuit appellate courts. The court could accept the view of a few federal and state courts that injunctions like these violate the First Amendment. The trend is to uphold injunctions if there’s a finding that speech was libelous and they limit speech to that which has been deemed libelous.
The court could conclude that injunctions are constitutionally permissible but it wouldn’t be logical based on the facts. My sense is that injunctions can be granted by courts when they are allowed and when it seems likely that defendant will not remove the libelous remarks (or repeat them) without the injunction.