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Courtroom dismisses Washington Put up reporter’s lawsuit towards the paper and its former high editor


The reporter, Felicia Sonmez, had beforehand mentioned that she had been prohibited from overlaying tales about sexual misconduct as a result of she had been outspoken about being a sexual assault survivor herself.

Sonmez had argued that the ban, which ultimately was lifted after she criticized the paper each publicly and privately, had prevented her from overlaying a number of the most consequential tales in politics, such because the allegations towards Supreme Courtroom Justice Brett Kavanaugh throughout his affirmation course of, which he denied.

The ban was instituted throughout the tenure of former Govt Editor Marty Baron, who retired from the paper final February.

Sonmez’s lawyer mentioned within the go well with that she had suffered “financial loss, humiliation, embarrassment, psychological and emotional misery, and the deprivation of her rights to equal employment alternatives” on account of the ban.

She filed the lawsuit in July and, along with The Put up, named as defendants Baron; Managing Editor Cameron Barr; Managing Editor Tracy Grant; Nationwide Editor Steven Ginsberg; Deputy Nationwide Editor Lori Montgomery; and Senior Politics Editor Peter Wallsten.

However on Thursday her case was dismissed with prejudice — that means it can’t be re-filed — by Choose Anthony C. Epstein of the Superior Courtroom of the District of Columbia Civil Division. Epstein dominated that Sonmez had did not state an actionable declare.

“The information alleged by Ms. Sonmez don’t help a believable inference that the Put up discriminated towards her, or created a hostile work surroundings, wholly or partially as a result of she is the sufferer of a sexual assault or a girl,” Epstein wrote in his opinion.

Epstein elaborated, writing, “The Put up attributed the entire employment actions about which Ms. Sonmez complains to her public statements, to not her sufferer standing or intercourse. Its said cause — avoiding the looks or a notion of bias by its reporters — is a foundation for the bans that doesn’t implicate the [DC Human Rights Act].

Epstein wrote that “a information publication has a constitutionally protected proper to undertake and implement insurance policies meant to guard public belief in its impartiality and objectivity.”

Epstein additionally rejected Sonmez’s claims of retaliation and negligent infliction of emotional misery.

Sundeep Hora, an legal professional for Sonmez, advised CNN, “We’re nonetheless analyzing the opinion, however from what I’ve learn up to now we disagree strongly with the choose’s reasoning. And we plan to enchantment it.”

“I do not assume the choose obtained it proper,” he added. “However we respect his choice.”

A spokesperson for The Put up declined to remark.

Baron advised CNN, “I’m grateful for a authorized course of that allowed the claims on this lawsuit to be evaluated objectively.”



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