OAN can’t dodge Smartmatic’s DC lawsuit over election conspiracy theories just because its headquarters is in California, judge rules

A federal judge on Tuesday gave a green light to Smartmatic’s defamation lawsuit against One America News, a right-wing media organization it alleges pushed conspiracy theories about the election technology company’s role in the 2020 presidential election.

Smartmatic filed the lawsuit in Washington, DC, in November, arguing OAN damaged the company’s reputation. Smartmatic and Dominion, a rival election technology company, have both been subject to conspiracy theories alleging they rigged the election against then-President Donald Trump and in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

Herring Networks, which operates OAN, asked US District Judge Carl J. Nichols to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing he didn’t have jurisdiction over the case because the company is headquartered in California.

In a terse, 11-page opinion, Nichols said that isn’t how the law works. OAN operates a studio in Washington, DC, and broadcasts throughout the district, giving the DC court jurisdiction, Nichols wrote.

“Indeed, but for OAN leasing television production studio and office space, advertising its programming, and promoting its network with guests, OAN’s allegedly false and defamatory statements would not have made it on the airwaves,” Nichols wrote.


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