Photo: PBS Newshour
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s will have the “god of First Amendment law” in its corner as it fights the federal government’s fraud lawsuit.Floyd Abrams, who represented The New York Times in the famous Pentagon Papers case, is defending S&P against claims it knowingly gave residential mortgage-backed securities ratings that were way too high.
Back in 2009, The Times reported on how Abrams would defend S&P in litigation brought by investors.
The Times said Abrams would contend that “S&P’s ratings deserve exactly the sort of free-speech protections afforded to journalists, on the theory that a bond rating is like an editorial – an opinion based on an educated guess about the future.”
But Abrams won’t rely on the First Amendment defence in the case brought by the government, Bloomberg reports.
“I don’t have any magic First Amendment wand in my pocket for this one,” Abrams told Bloomberg TV’s Sara Eisen. “It’s not a First Amendment case. The government is alleging that S&P didn’t believe what it said; the First Amendment doesn’t protect against that.”
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