A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected arguments by prominent National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer in a lawsuit centered on graphic emails she received from a California attorney after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s decision to dismiss Hammer’s lawsuit against attorney Lawrence Sorensen, who sent two emails to the lobbyist that included photos of gunshot wounds. Hammer raised a series of arguments in the case, including that Sorensen had violated Florida laws about cyberstalking, harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The appeals court, in a 14-page decision, said Hammer’s lawsuit did not allege “enough facts” to show that the laws were violated. As an example, the court said proving cyberstalking requires showing that the disputed communications served “no legitimate purpose.”
The court said Sorensen’s emails, which were “clearly intended to dissuade Hammer from continuing to support the availability of assault rifles,” had a legitimate purpose.