OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bid to fend off a defamation lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems filed over his claims about the 2020 presidential election.
The Court rejecting the case means a federal judge’s ruling in August 2021 that allowed the lawsuit to move forward remains in place.
“Dominion sued Lindell and MyPillow in February 2021, claiming $1.3 billion in damages and alleging that Lindell purposely pushed the ‘big lie’ that Trump won the 2020 election. Lindell repeatedly echoed baseless claims that Dominion’s machines manipulated vote counts to ensure that Joe Biden defeated Trump. The claims have been widely debunked. In the lawsuit, Dominion argues that Lindell knew his claims were false, while Lindell’s lawyers say he genuinely believes them,” NBC News reported.
JUST IN: Supreme Court rejects MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bid to fend off a defamation lawsuit the voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems filed over his far-fetched claims about the 2020 presidential election. https://t.co/dCPapD0Oy9
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 3, 2022
The Supreme Court made a slew of major announcements on Monday as the new term begins.
The nation’s highest court will consider “equitable tolling” for a U.S. Navy veteran who did not file a claim within the allotted timeframe under existing law.
“If a veteran of the United States Armed Forces sustains an injury during military service, they may be entitled to disability benefits. If they apply for benefits within a year of separating from the military, benefits may begin retroactively to the day after service,” the blog noted.
“Yet, if a veteran fails to apply for those benefits within a year of discharge, they stand to lose thousands of dollars because the law currently does not permit equitable tolling – the doctrine that allows individuals, in some circumstances, to pursue a claim after a statutory deadline has expired. That may change after the Supreme Court hears Arellano v. McDonough, which will be argued on Tuesday. This case will determine if a veteran can file a claim many years after service and be paid disability benefits back to the day after their discharge from the military,” the blog continued.
The case revolves around Adolfo Arellano, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1981, during which time he served on the U.S.S. Midway. an aircraft carrier that was built during World War II and launched eight days after hostilities ended. During his stint aboard the carrier, Arellano said he witnessed fellow sailors being injured and killed, while he himself was nearly crushed and swept overboard, the blog noted further.
In the aftermath, the former sailor began to suffer severe mental health conditions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“The severity of his condition left him unable to understand that he was eligible to file a claim for disability benefits with the Department of Veteran Affairs. When he finally filed a claim for benefits 30 years later with the assistance of his brother, the VA agreed that his mental health condition was related to his military service and that it was totally disabling. As a result, the VA began paying him disability benefits — but only as of the date he filed his claim in June 2011,” the SCOTUS blog reported.
Arellano appealed the decision and asked that the timetable regarding the statute, found in 38 United States Code, be “equitably tolled” in order to provide an earlier date for payment of benefits.
“Equitable tolling allows courts, or in this case, an agency, to excuse missed deadlines in some circumstances. To obtain equitable tolling, a person must show that they were unable to pursue a claim due to extraordinary circumstances that prevented them from filing in time,” SCOTUS Blog noted.
If Arellano manages to win his case, he would receive retroactive VA benefits from his 1981 separation date from the Navy until the date he filed his initial claim.
That would amount to roughly $600,000 in back pay.