Insults: Slime by Any Other Name

Slime by Any Other Name

The framers of the Bill of Rights surely had loftier disputes in mind. But last week a federal judge in Denver invoked the First Amendment guarantee of free speech in ruling that calling someone a "sleaze bag" who "slimed up from the bayou" does not constitute slander. When Football Coach Darrel ("Mouse") Davis used those words to describe Sports Agent J. Harrison Henderson III, he was free to express his opinion, according to Judge Jim Carrigan. The judge dismissed a suit for at least $12 million in damages that Henderson had filed against Davis and two newspapers that printed the remark.

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