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Supreme Court turns down Ventura appeals

WASHINGTON—U.S. Supreme Court justices reject former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's attempt to restore a $1.8 million award an appeals court gave him.

Without comment, justices said on Monday, Jan. 9, they would not change a federal appeals court decision that erased a lower court ruling that Ventura is due the money after being defamed by author Chris Kyle in "American Sniper."

Ventura had celebrated his lower court victory by a 2014 jury, but now has two straight defeats. His case still could be heard in a new federal trial in Minnesota.

Last summer, a three-judge appeals court panel overturned the jury decision.

The issue was that Kyle, who died after writing the book, wrote in "American Sniper" that he had hit a former Navy SEAL in a bar. Kyle later identified that person as Ventura, who belonged to a team that pre-dated the SEALs.

The appeals court did not decide whether Kyle lied in his book; rather, the judges looked into comments by Ventura lawyers that they decided meant Kyle's estate could not receive a fair trial.

In a 2016 comment, Ventura said he spent $1 million in the case.

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