The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Alex Jones’s appeal in a Sandy Hook defamation case from Connecticut.
The Infowars host and conspiracy theorist was appealing a Connecticut court sanction in a defamation lawsuit filed by the families of victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Jones was penalized by a trial court judge two years ago for angry outbursts toward the plaintiffs’ attorney during his online show and for violating orders to turn over documents to lawyers for the families, The Associated Press reported.
Judge Barbara Bellis in Connecticut barred Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the pending case, in which she said she would order him to pay for some of the families’ legal fees. The Connecticut Supreme Court court upheld her ruling last year.
Jones has argued he should not be sanctioned for exercising what he called his freedom of speech.
The families, as well as an FBI agent who responded to the scene, sued Jones and his show for making claims that the 2012 mass shooting, which left 26 people dead, was a hoax.
The families are also suing Jones, Infowars and others for infliction of emotional distress.
Jones has since said he believes the shooting had occurred.
In an email to the AP, Jones’s attorney called the Supreme Court’s decision “a disappointment.”
“Judge Bellis, and the Connecticut Supreme Court, asserted frightening and standardless power over the extrajudicial statements of litigants,” attorney Norman Pattis said Monday.
“Mr. Jones never threatened anyone; had he done so, he would have been charged with a crime,” he added. “We are inching our way case-by-case toward a toothless, politically correct, First Amendment.”
The Hill has reached out to Pattis for comment.
“The families are eager to resume their case and to hold Mr. Jones and his financial network accountable for their actions,” said Joshua Koskoff, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families.
“From the beginning, our goal has been to prevent future victims of mass shootings from being preyed on by opportunists,” Koskoff added.
Jones suffered a legal setback earlier this year when the Texas Supreme Court rejected a request to dismiss four defamation lawsuits against him from parents whose children were killed in the school shooting.