On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the publisher of a neo-Nazi website cannot hide from a lawsuit filed in Montana.
Jeremiah Lynch, who is a U.S. magistrate judge, said that Andrew Anglin — who publishes the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer — was a legal resident of Ohio when the lawsuit was filed last April. This means that a court there can hear the case, though a district court judge could still review Lynch’s recommendation.
For nearly a year, Anglin has been trying to avoid the lawsuit, by claiming that he was a stateless person. The lawsuit was filed by Tanya Gersh, who is a Jewish real estate agent living in Whitefish, Montana who had gotten into a feud with the mother of a leading white nationalist named Richard Spenser. Gersh alledges that, through the efforts of Anglin, in excess of 700 harassing and threatening communicatios were sent to her.
With the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Gersh sued Anglin for invasion of privacy. She also sued him for violating a state anti-intimidation law and for causing her emotional distress.
Anglin subsequently hid from process servers, and, through his attorney Marc Randazza and his website, he claimed that he was living overseas. Randazza, who defends other white nationalists, made the argument that Anglin had permanently established himself outside the United States, which made him a stateless person who was outside the reach of federal courts.
But neither Anglin nor Randazza could offer any real proof that Anglin was residing outside the country. In fact, there is evidence that Anglin was visiting his hometown of Columbus, Ohio in February of 2017, so that he could appear in court on a unrelated matter.
In response to the decision, Randazza on Tuesday night tweeted: “Can’t win em all.”
Another hearing in the case is scheduled for April 3 in Missoula, Montana, relating to a motion to dismiss the case because of the First Amendment.