The video was posted amid ongoing friction between the NAACP and the tea party movement, each of which were accusing the other of having racist elements among their ranks. Breitbart said at the time that the video showed the NAACP condoning racist comments from a government official.
The full video, however, shows Sherrod explaining to the audience how she eventually became friends with the farmer and helped him save his land from foreclosure.
Brown, the lawyer for O’Connor, defended the bloggers’ actions and said the suit should be dismissed under the anti-SLAPP law, designed to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation, because Breitbart’s post was opinion. “She was a public official who saw the world through a racial prism,” Brown said of Sherrod.
The case has been closely watched as a test of the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP statute.
Brown asked the three judges to consider the precedent this case would have.
“It is in courts like this where First Amendment law is made,” he said.