Saturday, April 01, 2006

Remember the First Amendment?

Via Jessica McBride.

A Winnebago County judge has shut down a blog and enjoined the blogger from operating any "similar sites" because some comments placed on it are alleged to have defamed the clerk of courts.

This order sure looks like a constitutionally suspect prior restraint. Maybe you could order the guy to shut down comments, but how can you possibly tell him to shut up? This is, more or less, the equivalent of shutting down a newspaper because it is alleged to have published a defamatory article.

It is also surprising that the judge apparently did this as a temporary restraining order, i.e., without even a preliminary evidentiary hearing.

Maybe there are some extraordinary facts that justify this, but it's hard to even imagine what they could be.

1 comment:

Billiam said...

Come on Rick! Free speech started dying when Speech codes started being introduced on University campuses. Hate speech codes, political correctness and the rest started the dismantling of Free speech a long time ago. The errosion is just getting more noticeable now.