CV NEWS FEED // Following their victory in court, student-run newspaper the Irish Rover has requested for the pro-abortion Notre Dame professor who filed a “frivolous” defamation lawsuit against them to pay $178,000 to cover their attorney fees.
In early January, the St. Joseph Superior Court in Indiana dismissed the lawsuit that Dr. Tamara Kay filed against student publication the Irish Rover after months of legal proceedings. Kay filed the initial lawsuit in July of 2023, accusing the pro-life newspaper of defamation for publicizing Kay’s public pro-abortion advocacy on campus.
On January 26, “The Irish Rover, independent, non-profit, student publication ‘devoted to preserving the Catholic identity of Notre Dame’ asked a court to force Dr. Tamara Kay… to pay $178,000 in legal fees for a frivolous defamation suit she brought against The Irish Rover and lost,” stated a January 29 email press release from the Irish Rover’s legal representative, the Bopp Law Firm.
The Bopp Law Firm added that this request is in line with Indiana’s Anti-SLAPP law,
which protects someone when exercising their right of free speech against a frivolous suit by dismissing the case. The Anti-SLAPP law also requires the person who filed the meritless suit to pay the attorney’s fees for the defendant.
That is exactly what happened to The Irish Rover and is why the court dismissed Dr. Kay’s lawsuit. Now, Dr. Kay will be obligated to pay The Irish Rover’s attorney’s fees.
Lead counsel for the Irish Rover James Bopp stated in the press release, “Indiana’s Anti-SLAPP law provides a way for defendants who are accused of defamation without any basis in law and fact to recoup their attorney fees and is intended to be a deterrent for people bringing these types of frivolous cases.”
The Irish Rover Editor-in-Chief emeritus Joseph DeReuil previously told CatholicVote after the victory, “I was confident throughout the legal proceedings that we would prevail, since I knew we had the truth on our side, but it was a huge relief when that was finally confirmed by the court.”
The Bopp Law Firm stated in the press release that “The Irish Rover published two articles about Dr. Kay—a noted abortion rights activist—each of which accurately reported on her public statements and actions” after Roe v. Wade was overturned and pro-life laws were set in Indiana.
According to the articles, Kay offered to help students obtain abortifacient contraceptives and promoted pro-abortion activism on campus. Kay is a professor of Global Affairs and Sociology.
“Her twitter account regularly shared information supporting her pro-abortion stance—including information about “Plan C Pills” (a common term for pills used to induce abortion, often at home),” the Bopp Law Firm continued in the press release:
Dr. Kay posted a sign on her Notre Dame office door which stated, “This is a SAFE SPACE to get help and information on ALL Healthcare issues and access—confidentially with care and compassion.”
…The court found that “healthcare” in this context referred to abortion services and concluded The Irish Rover’s reporting on Dr. Kay’s pro-abortion activities and speeches were accurate and lawful.
Lead counsel Bopp stated in the press release, “My firm concentrates on defending First Amendment rights—we were happy to defend The Irish Rover’s right to free speech in this case.”