Unintended Victims


Women who were listed without their permission as victims of domestic abuse in a political ad by Senator Heitkamp have said that they are looking for a lawyer. Good. That sort of irresponsible behavior isn’t protected by the First Amendment, and someone publishing such a statement should be held accountable. Heitkamp should be on the hook for invasion of privacy against anyone who didn’t consent to be publicly named and for libel in cases where the women weren’t victims of domestic violence at all. Indeed, the husbands of the non-victim women might also have grounds to sue for defamation because of being falsely painted as abusers.

A politician’s false narrative may have created some unintended victims.