This week, Leigh Corfman’s lawsuit against Roy Moore for defamation finally goes to trial. After Roy Moore, the two-time Chief Justice who made bold stands for marriage and the Ten Commandments won the run-off election for the open U.S. Senate seat, the Washington Post accused him of attempting to have sex with 14-year-old Corfman 40 years ago. That accusation cost him the general election.

But Moore’s nightmare didn’t end there. After the election, two high-powered law firms sued Moore on Corfman’s behalf for defamation. You would think that whatever he said would have to be pretty bad to warrant a defamation suit, right? So what did he do? Did he try to ruin her by accusing her of sleeping around or something like that?
Nope. Pretty much, all he said was, “I didn’t do it.”

That’s pretty mild. Some of my friends who believed Moore even told me that they wish he would have defended himself more vigorously. But for his fairly mild profession of innocence, these firms decided to sue him. They argued that by denying the accusations, he implied that Corfman lied, which defamed her.


I’ve known Roy Moore for a long time, and I believe he’s innocent. I’ve worked with him closely when people aren’t watching and seen who he is when nobody is looking, and I just can’t see him doing this. But for those of you who may not agree with me, I wanted to write today about another issue in the case: the disastrous consequences for Alabama if Corfman’s defamation suit succeeds.

The law has long recognized that one cannot be held liable for defamation if he simply denies an accusation against him. Here’s why: if you can be sued for saying, “I didn’t do it,” then lots of innocent people would have to lawyer up and spend thousands of dollars defending themselves, probably suffering financial and reputational ruin even if they won in the end. Therefore, the law provides that if you simply say, “I didn’t do it,” then you can’t be sued for defamation. You can be liable if you go way beyond that in counterattacking your accuser, but simply professing your innocence, as Moore did, is not defamation.

But here, the firms representing Corfman are not only trying to crucify Moore, but they also appear to be trying to change the law, using this as a test case. It’s not enough that the man has already suffered so much since 2017. Now, they’re using him as a lab rat in a legal experiment.

Whoever loses this case will probably be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. Once it gets there, the court’s decision will set a precedent affecting the entire state. That’s how this case will affect the rest of us.

Think about the implications if Corfman’s lawyers win. Right now, the left is rabidly pursuing Critical Race Theory and accusing every white person they meet of being a racist simply because of their skin color (which, ironically, is extremely racist). If someone gets accused of racism in front of others and says, “I’m not a racist,” then under the view of Corfman’s attorneys, he or she can be sued for defamation! It’s bad enough when you tell the woke you’re not racist and they reply, “That’s exactly what a racist would say!” But if the suit against Moore succeeds, then they could actually sue you! While that would be heaven for the rabid woke, it would be hell for the rest of us.

Think about more mundane issues, too. If you wind up having a dispute with your neighbor, say about a property boundary line or something else, if you publicly deny an accusation that he makes against you, then you’re liable for defamation.
The bottom line is that if you ever get accused of doing something wrong and publicly profess your innocence, then you could be hit with a defamation suit.

Alabama used to be called “tort hell” years ago. We’ve made strides to correct that. But to stop us from going back there, the case against Roy Moore needs to fail.

So, if you’re not as sure as I am about Moore’s innocence, at least note what else is on the line in this case. If Corfman’s attorneys win, then publicly professing your innocence could get you sued. Litigation is a long, expensive, and taxing process. Even if one is found innocent in the end, he would have to pay a heavy price to get there. So let’s pray together that Corfman’s attorneys lose. If they win, then Alabama plaintiff lawyers will have an open season on the rest of us.

Matt Clark is the President of the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty, a conservative nonprofit law firm that fights for limited government, free markets, and strong families in the courts. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to