On Thursday, a judge rejected a motion by Fox News to dismiss a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought on by Dominion Voting Systems over claims about the 2020 presidential election.

The 52-page ruling sees Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis say that the voting machine company had shown that “At this stage, it is reasonably conceivable that Dominion has a claim for defamation per se.”

Dominion filed the lawsuit earlier this year against the media company, alleging that some Fox News employees elevated false charges that Dominion had changed votes in 2020 via algorithms. On-air personalities brought on Republican allies who spread the claims, and then amplified those claims on Fox News’ social media outlets.

There has been no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election.

In denying the motion to dismiss the lawsuit Davis said that Dominion’s complaint “supports the reasonable inference that Fox either (i) knew its statements about Dominion’s role in election fraud were false or (ii) had a high degree of awareness that the statements were false.”

Fox News Media said in a statement that “[a]s we have maintained, Fox News, along with every single news organization across the country, vigorously covered the breaking news surrounding the unprecedented 2020 election, providing full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear-cut analysis. We remain committed to defending against this baseless lawsuit and its all-out assault on the First Amendment.”

Fox News had sought to have the lawsuit dismissed arguing that its coverage is protected by the First Amendment and that a free press must be able to report both sides of a story involving claims that strike at the core of democracy.

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