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Appeals court takes up Fairfax's defamation case against CBS

A three-judge panel heard arguments from a lawyer for Fairfax, who wants his defamation lawsuit against CBS reinstated after a judge dismissed the case last year.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Thursday, March 5, 2020, file photo, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax directs the Senate at the Capitol, in Richmond, Va. Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax is launching a run for governor despite facing two high-profile allegations of sexual assault he has strenuously denied. Fairfax said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Sept. 10, he's the victim of unfounded political smears and is undeterred by the challenges in running for governor. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Appellate judges reviewing a defamation lawsuit filed by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax expressed concern that journalists gave an overly credulous reaction to two women who accused him of sexual assault. But they were skeptical that he could meet the high standard required to prove libel. 

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard arguments Thursday from a lawyer for Fairfax, who wants his defamation lawsuit against CBS reinstated after a judge dismissed the case last year. 

CBS News broadcast interviews in 2019 with two women who accused Fairfax of sexual assault. 

Fairfax denies wrongdoing and accuses CBS of ignoring evidence that would cast doubt on their allegations.