PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court said yesterday it will decide whether a newspaper can be sued for publishing a letter suggesting that American soldiers in Iraq respond to attacks by killing Muslims at nearby mosques.
The Supreme Court agreed without comment to hear the Tucson Citizen's appeal of a judge's decision to hold a trial in a lawsuit accusing the newspaper of distressing residents by printing the letter.
The Supreme Court ordered legal briefs filed within 30 days. No date was set for oral arguments.
Newspaper attorney David Bodney said the case involves First Amendment issues. "Essentially the cause of action relates to a polemical statement issued by the letter writer over how best the war in Iraq should be waged," Bodney said. "It hardly supports a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress."
Plaintiffs' attorney Herbert Beigel did not immediately return a call yesterday seeking comment.
Two Tucson men filed a class-action lawsuit against the
The letter prompted some fearful Tucson Muslims to keep their children home from religious schools and resulted in protests from readers and a published apology by the Citizen.