MASON, Mich. — A pro-abortion politician that formerly served in the Michigan House of Representatives has withdrawn a defamation lawsuit filed against her former pro-life assistant, who had gone public last year about her alleged mistreatment as a pregnant mother.
Ericah Caughey was fired from her position as legislative assistant to Representative Lisa Brown in 2009 while pregnant with her third child. Last year, during Brown’s campaign for Oakland County clerk, Caughey spoke against Brown at a press conference, stating that after she became pregnant, Brown became hostile toward her and called her “preggers.” She also alleged that Brown made “crude comments about chasing [her] with a coat hanger” before suddenly being fired.
Caughey was asked to also appear in commercials to speak against her former employer, which later were posted to YouTube and aired in television campaigns.
In May of this year, Brown filed a defamation lawsuit against Caughey, stating that she had damaged her “excellent reputation as a staunch advocate for the rights of women including, but not limited to, the advancement of women’s reproductive rights….” Brown’s attorneys also wrote a letter to Caughey, stating that if she did not remove the YouTube videos, they would move forward with “full throttle litigation” and “proceed with the adversarial process.”
Caughey then contacted the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a Christian legal organization headquarted in Ann Arbor, to seek representation. Attorneys with the group replied in a “bring it on” fashion.
“[Y]ou can appropriately assume that [our client is] not interested in resolving this matter without ‘full throttle litigation,’” AFLC responded to the correspondence. “Consequently, we can ‘proceed with the adversarial process.’”
However, even when Caughey removed the videos, Brown proceeded with the defamation suit, stating that she wanted her reputation repaired. But AFLC filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, asserting that Brown’s allegations were “frivolous.”
As the court stated that Brown was unable to cite an actionable case of defamation under the law, it gave Brown’s attorneys time to file an amended complaint to provide a second chance for the former politician to present her grievances. Caughey’s attorneys responded to the amended complaint by vowing to file another motion to dismiss and to seek sanctions against both Brown and her attorneys.
Within 72 hours, Brown’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety. On Thursday, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette signed the final order closing the case.
“It is ironic that a public official who has pushed the limits on acceptable speech in her quest against the so-called ‘war on women’ has started her own war against a young mother for the express purpose of punishing the same political speech,” commented AFLC attorney Robert Muise, who represented Caughey in the case. “However, as we made clear in our motion for summary disposition, Brown’s frivolous arguments did not stand a chance against the First Amendment.”
“The so-called ‘women’s reproductive rights’ movement is nothing more than a sinister effort to make abortion as widespread as possible and to discredit those who uphold the sanctity of human life,” added co-counsel David Yerushalmi. “The fact that Ms. Caughey’s political speech enraged Lisa Brown is just another example of the liberals’ ruthless crusade against those with contrary views.”
Brown now serves as Oakland County clerk as she won her bid for the seat despite Caughey’s appearance in counter campaign videos.