PDA

View Full Version : Blogger jailed; First Amendment issue



Gerarddm
01-12-2014, 11:43 AM
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/us/bloggers-incarceration-raises-first-amendment-questions.html?referrer=


On the face of this this blogger sounds like a jerk, but there are serious First Amendment issues here.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-12-2014, 11:51 AM
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/us/bloggers-incarceration-raises-first-amendment-questions.html?referrer=


On the face of this this blogger sounds like a jerk, but there are serious First Amendment issues here.

Which are what according to your understanding of the First Amendment and the court's pronouncement on it?

Tom Wilkinson
01-12-2014, 11:53 AM
If there really are first amendment issues, why wont he actually show up in court and defend his statements? I don't see much of anything other than a first class a-hole abusing the system. free speech does have it's limitations, includng libel and defamation. You can't just say anythng you want about anyone and expect it to be protected speech.

Gerarddm
01-12-2014, 11:55 AM
Libel has to be adjudicated by trial, and not by a judge's fiat.

Donn
01-12-2014, 11:57 AM
Adjudicated.

Breakaway
01-12-2014, 12:21 PM
You can't just say anythng you want about anyone and expect it to be protected speech.

Subtle, but I think, important difference of opinion ( and I am no lawyer, ok): You can, in fact say what you like. You may be taken to court and as a result, and after due process, suffer consequences because you chose to excercise that right. But you are free to say what you like, barring "fire in a theater" statements.

The crux of this case is the judge's action: can the judge short-circuit the process just because the defendant acts like a jerk.

Kevin

Donn
01-12-2014, 12:35 PM
That's like saying you're "free" to commit murder, although you may be arrested, tried and punished for it.

Tom Wilkinson
01-12-2014, 12:39 PM
So show up in court and defend your assertions. The judge isn't the only one short circuiting the process. He was served the papers. If he feels they were improperly served, then there is very likely a process for that as well.

I understand the subtlety of what you mean, but if you are going to make statements about people, then be willing to stand up for your words.

BETTY-B
01-12-2014, 04:05 PM
I think people are missing the point that it is the court's obligation to prove he defamed someone. They don't need him on the stand to prove his allegations/defamations were injurious. It's as if the judgement was for him being a jerk. You cant do that. And furthermore, it is totally legal to talk poorly of someone if the allegations are true. So to stop him from further talking about someone in particular is an overreach in itself.

There's no doubt he's in contempt though.

John Smith
01-12-2014, 04:12 PM
I'd like to ask if this man is any more a "journalist" than is Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

I do think if he can be jailed, so can they. I'm not sure going on the radio and hoping our president fails falls under free speech. I also don't thing a "journalist" who makes no effort to get his fact right should be protected by free speech: lying for personal gain is the definition of "fraud", and "fraud" is not free speech.

I acknowledge I'm a very small minority who believes this.

BETTY-B
01-12-2014, 04:21 PM
I'd like to ask if this man is any more a "journalist" than is Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

I do think if he can be jailed, so can they. I'm not sure going on the radio and hoping our president fails falls under free speech. I also don't thing a "journalist" who makes no effort to get his fact right should be protected by free speech: lying for personal gain is the definition of "fraud", and "fraud" is not free speech.

I acknowledge I'm a very small minority who believes this.

With public figures and officails it gets complicated. You have to also prove malice.

Tom Wilkinson
01-12-2014, 05:35 PM
I think people are missing the point that it is the court's obligation to prove he defamed someone. They don't need him on the stand to prove his allegations/defamations were injurious. It's as if the judgement was for him being a jerk. You cant do that. And furthermore, it is totally legal to talk poorly of someone if the allegations are true. So to stop him from further talking about someone in particular is an overreach in itself.

There's no doubt he's in contempt though.

So just don't show up to court and you are good to go? How does the court prove the case if he doesn't show up to face the allegations?

John Smith
01-12-2014, 06:12 PM
With public figures and officails it gets complicated. You have to also prove malice.

I suspect it is complex, but that's because we accept it as complex. If a man lies, knowingly, for personal gain, I think it's "fraud."

I'm sure there would be great debate in the senate if someone got a bill on the floor requiring matters of fact to be accurately presented, and I doubt it would survive. It would be great fun, however, to see who stands on the floors of congress and argues FOR the right to lie to the people.

Breakaway
01-12-2014, 06:23 PM
I understand the subtlety of what you mean, but if you are going to make statements about people, then be willing to stand up for your words.

Agreed, Tom, 100-percent. Personally, I believe one should stand up and back it up if one is going to say something.

But as I understand the legalities of these matters, I concur with Betty-B. We really dont have to back it up....unless the aggrieved party challenges us that its untrue in court. Impolite an



They don't need him on the stand to prove his allegations/defamations were injurious. It's as if the judgement was for him being a jerk. You cant do that. And furthermore, it is totally legal to talk poorly of someone if the allegations are true. So to stop him from further talking about someone in particular is an overreach in itself.




Donn (http://forum.woodenboat.com/member.php?1909-Donn)



That's like saying you're "free" to commit murder, although you may be arrested, tried and punished for it.








Nah. If you want to generalize, then you could say that I meant to imply that one can be hauled into court for almost anything.

Kevin

BETTY-B
01-12-2014, 07:30 PM
So just don't show up to court and you are good to go? How does the court prove the case if he doesn't show up to face the allegations?

Well, there are two different scenarios where that could be in this case. For one, he's already in jail for contempt. They just march him up to the courthouse to face it. If he were in hiding, they could find him guilty in absentia.

The point is that they did not prove that. As a matter of fact, Mr. Riley and Ms. Duke would have had to prove that it not only hurt them, but since they are in the public eye, that it was more than wrong, it was with malice. If Mr. Shuler actually has proof of their indiscretions, they're screwed. The case here is that the court just handed down a sentence because he was being unreasonable. Being unreasonable can certainly get you contemp, but it can not cross over into the other charge without the court proving their case. Or more importantly, the plaintiffs proving it to be damaging(with malice).

Certainly, without him backing up his claims, they had some bit of a case to force him to remove the allegations. Saying he cant say anything more, true or untrue, is the issue at hand here.

Tom Hunter
01-12-2014, 07:42 PM
He clearly deserves jail for contempt, but the judge has been too broad in his injunctions too. The problem now (as I see it, and I am not a lawyer) is that the judges injunctions need to be overturned or they will set precedent. A narrower injunction would have worked perfectly well on this guy and cost a lot less money and time.

skipper68
01-12-2014, 07:46 PM
one can be hauled into court for almost anything.
Well, it happens a thousand times a day. You can not NOT show up, but if you do, always have your lawyer do the talking. Contempt of Court is just the beginning.
Defamation can be serious. It can destroy a persons livelihood, and reputation.
OTOH, when you think of all the lying liars and their outrageous lies on MSM, everyone should be keelhauled! Especially 98% of the politicians. ;)

Keith Wilson
01-12-2014, 08:37 PM
Man, that's a case in which there are no heroes. I expect about halfway into the case, the judge devoutly wished he'd gone into dentistry, or maybe accounting. It looks like the judge is overreaching, but that blogger is one sorry piece of work.

Boater14
01-12-2014, 08:50 PM
You defame some innocent people and a posse comes to your defense? Read the whole thing. ACLU objects? Whats new. He's a nut, justice was served, bent over backward if you ask me.