Major Media and scholars side with Taya Kyle against Jesse Ventura
Minnesota Star Tribune
On behalf of 33 media entities and organizations, Cahill submitted a brief, amici curiae, to the Eighth Circuit in the appeal of an unprecedented award in a defamation suit brought by former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura against Chris Kyle, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and author of the 2012 best selling American Sniper autobiography. The suit arose out of a one-and-a-half page passage of Kyle’s book in which he described a bar fight with an individual he identified only as “Scruff Face,” and whom he later publicly confirmed to be Ventura. On August 7, 2014, the District Court for the District of Minnesota awarded former Governor Ventura $1.8 million based not only on supposed damages sustained by Ventura but also on profits purportedly received by Kyle from the sale of his book. Amici argued that the ruling awarding a libel plaintiff profits received from the sale of a book is unprecedented in American history and cannot be reconciled with the common law or the First Amendment. Companies signing on to the brief included A&E Television Networks, Buzzfeed, Gannett Co., Hearst Corp., the Motion Picture Association of America, the New York Times Co., Penguin Random House, Time Inc., and the Washington Post.