An Alabama judge on Tuesday struck down a bid by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to help the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) defend itself against a lawsuit filed by Gavin McInnes, the founder of the 'Proud Boys' - a fraternal organization which the SPLC labeled a hate group.
The SPLC says the group is "known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric," and that members "maintain affiliations with known extremists."
McInnes hit back - filing a defamation lawsuit in early February which claims that the 'hate group' label is false and has damaged his career.
In response to the ACLU's amicus curiae Brief - which allows non-parties in a case to offer supporting information - US District Judge Myron H. Thompson ruled that "the court is convinced that both sides of this case can adequately present and argue the issues without outside assistance."
Prior to Thompson's decision, McInnes' counsel argued that the SPLC is "essentially, a law firm, and -as is well known - a very effective one, and one endowed with phenomenal financial resources, and noted that the ACLU "have not identified any special abilities or expertise that is not already available to the SPLC."
Last June, the SPLC agreed to apologize and pay $3.4 million to a British group and its founder after the Alabama-based organization labeled them anti-Muslim extremists.
The SPLC's downward spiral
The SPLC has a long and sordid history of labeling mainstream Christian and conservative organizations as "hate groups" - including the Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, the Ruth Institute, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Jihad Watch, according to Life Site's Calvin Freilburger.
Meanwhile, more than two-dozen employees signed a letter of concern over "allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism" within the organization following the ouster of co-founder Morris Dees over sexual misconduct claims.
Weeks after Dees' departure, the head of the SPLC, Richard Cohen, as well as the organization's legal director, Rhonda Brownstein, resigned.
"It is long overdue that social media companies stop using the hypocritical SPLC as a reliable source to police their content and discriminate against pro-family and conservative nonviolent organizations," said Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver earlier this month.
To that end, Twitter dropped the SPLC as a "trusted safety council" member in response to the scandals plaguing the organization.
"The SPLC is not a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council or a partner the company has worked with recently," a Twitter source told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter had previously listed the SPLC as a "safety partner" they worked with to combat "hateful conduct and harassment," according to a June DCNF report.
And now, the SPLC is fighting alone in its battle against Gavin McInnes.