Glaser Weil Successfully Defends Simon Wiesenthal Center in $5 Billion Farrakhan Lawsuit

On Friday, April 5, 2024, the Southern District of New York dismissed a $4.8 billion defamation lawsuit brought by The Nation of Islam and its leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, based on allegations that the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and other defendants called them antisemitic.

SWC countered that they have a constitutional right to express an opinion about what they believe is antisemitic hate speech, stating in their brief that “Plaintiffs seek here to rewrite decades of legal precedent and overturn the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.”

Judge Denise Cote in the U.S. Southern District of New York agreed, holding: “The challenged statements referring to Farrakhan as antisemitic are non-actionable statements of opinion. The communications in which they were published contain ‘a recitation of facts on which (they are) based’ – namely direct quotes from Farrakhan.”

Glaser Weil's Julie Gerchik led the Firm’s representation of SWC.

Upon winning the dismissal, Gerchik stated, “We are pleased the Court affirmed the Constitution’s First Amendment right to free speech and recognized the plaintiffs’ transparent effort to weaponize the legal system to intimidate those calling out antisemitism and hate.” She added, “Along with my colleagues Patty Glaser and Eric Su, I was honored to represent SWC and proud that Glaser Weil supported us in this effort.” 

Read SWC’s press release.

View previous coverage.

Related Attorneys

  • Julie R. F. Gerchik
  • Patricia L. Glaser
    Partner and Chair of the Litigation Department
  • Eric Su

Related Practices

Jump to Page

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.