West Virginia’s highest court has tossed out defamation and related claims lodged by a former Democratic state senator against a Republican senator who ran an ad featuring parts of the Democrat’s Facebook video in which he criticized law enforcement authorities and said to a prosecutor, “I wish cancer upon you!”

While running in 2020 for state Senate, Rupert Phillips, a Republican, used soundbites from a 23-minute video former Sen. Richard Ojeda posted in September 2020 in which Ojeda “expressed his disappointment with the manner in which Logan County[, West Virginia,] authorities handled the criminal case against a man who physically assaulted him in 2016,” according to the opinion from the majority of justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

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