performing at a fund raiser for Gilda's Club in Hackensack.
Croonquist gained national attention in August when her mother-in-law filed a lawsuit accusing her of defaming her and her family, using false and racist lies in her routine on television and in nightclubs.
Croonquist, who keeps a kosher home, is half-black, half-Swedish, and was raised Roman Catholic before marrying into a Jewish family. She sees nothing wrong in using her family as source material.
In a 21-page ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper of New Jersey concluded that the examples they cited - including one in which Croonquist says her sister-in-law's voice sounds like a cat in heat - fell under the category of protected speech.
Many of the jokes, Cooper said, were clearly statements of opinion and not fact and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The cat-in-heat joke, the judge said, quoting from a previous court decision, was "colorful, figurative rhetoric that reasonable minds would not take to be factual."