Lawyers representing Dominion Voting Systems argued in court on Tuesday that the defamation case against Fox News was so strong that a trial was unnecessary. During an all-day court hearing, both parties tried to convince Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis to grant “summary judgment” in their favor and decide the case now, rather than proceeding to a scheduled jury trial next month.

Dominion lawyer Justin Nelson accused Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO Lachlan Murdoch of giving implicit instructions to Fox News staff to “shut down the talk of fact-checking” and “let the hosts run wild” with conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump. Nelson stated that the Murdochs had made the decision to allow these baseless claims about Dominion to be aired on Fox News.

Before the hearing, Fox News revealed in a court filing that Dominion was seeking a court order to compel the Murdochs and other top Fox Corporation officials to testify at the trial. Fox lawyers argued that the Murdochs only had “limited knowledge of pertinent facts” and that Dominion should rely on the “lengthy depositions” they gave.

Also read | What is the Dominion Voting conspiracy?

The defamation lawsuit is one of the most consequential cases in recent memory. Dominion alleges that Fox News pushed various pro-Trump conspiracy theories about the election technology company because “the lies were good for Fox’s business.” Fox News has strongly disputed these allegations and maintains that it is “proud” of its 2020 election coverage.

During the hearing, Judge Davis had some tough questions for Fox News’ lawyers. He challenged some of their legal theories and openly questioned how Fox News could argue that former host Lou Dobbs had engaged in legally protected “neutral” reporting when he signed many of his tweets with a MAGA hashtag. Davis also suggested that Fox News host Maria Bartiromo misled her audience in November 2020 when she made it sound like she had no knowledge if the claims about Dominion were true.

The judge previously rejected Fox’s requests to throw out the lawsuit and allowed Dominion to add Fox’s parent company as a defendant, increasing the legal exposure for the Murdochs. The proceedings will resume on Wednesday morning, and it is unclear when Judge Davis will issue a ruling.

Also read | 2020 Donald Trump campaign knew Dominion fraud claims were false, memo shows

In conclusion, Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News are in a legal battle that has major implications for the future of the news industry. While Dominion’s lawyers argue that the case is strong enough to be decided without a trial, Fox News maintains its innocence and insists that it is proud of its coverage of the 2020 election. The hearing revealed that Judge Davis has some tough questions for Fox News’ lawyers, and it remains to be seen how the case will ultimately be resolved.