Murray Energy Corporation filed suit against environment reporter Ken Ward Jr. and the Charleston Gazette last month, and the case was recently transferred to federal district court. The complaint is on behalf of Murray Energy, its subsidiaries, and owner Bob Murray.
According to the complaint, an article Ward posted on his popular “Coal Tattoo” blog was libelous. Murray claims the blog post—called “Mitt Romney, Murray Energy and Coal Criminals”—has damaged his reputation and business and thus put the jobs Murray Energy provides in Belmont County, Ohio in jeopardy.
In the post, Ward mentions a fundraiser Murray held for Mitt Romney. He also mentions the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster in Utah. Crandall Canyon was operated by a Murray Energy subsidiary, and the company pleaded guilty to criminal mine safety violations for the accident that killed six miners and three rescue workers in August 2007. Ward also cites an Associated Press article that reports another Murray subsidiary in Ohio pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act last month.
The complaint says the “false and defamatory manner” of the post is “affirmatively stating and clearly implying” that Murray, Murray Energy and the company’s subsidiaries are criminals.
The day after a judge upheld Pennsylvania's new voter-identification law, the lead plaintiff in the suit seeking to block the law went to a state Department of Transportation office and was issued the photo-ID card she needs to vote.
The name on her birth certificate is still different from the name on her other documents — all of which, under the law, should have barred her from getting her photo ID.
But Thursday, she got it anyway. "You just have to keep trying," said Applewhite, who uses an electric wheelchair. "Don't give up."
State officials called it an unplanned exercise in what they've been saying for weeks: Clerks at Pennsylvania Department of Transportation centers can take age and other factors into consideration when granting exceptions to the list of documents the law requires, licensing-bureau director Janet Dolan said.
What this means to me is that they've granted an exception that probably won't be given to most people in that situation, and now at the next appeal hearing the whole case will be thrown out because the plaintiff no longer has "standing"