Senate Considering Outlawing Anonymous Online Speech That’s Supposedly “Intended to Harass” the Person Being CriticizedI do criticize govt officials such as Irwin H. Joseph and Ken Perlmutter for their malicious and vindictive abuse of children with their family court powers. If speaking out against the govt becomes a federal crime, then I would have to shut down this blog.
This is happening in § 1003 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011, which is apparently being debated tomorrow. ...
And of course there’s every reason to think that the revised statute could be used not just to go after criticism of private individuals — though I think it would be unconstitutional even then — but also government officials. As you can see in these posts, these sorts of broad “harassment” statutes have recently been used to silence, prosecute, or try to unmask critics of prominent religious leaders, city commissioners, police officers, and candidates for elective office. Why is the Senate considering broadening federal speech restrictions to make such prosecutions easier?
The First Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.I hope someone points this out in the Senate debate. Volokh points out that the bill is titled, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011. Taken literally, it means that Congress is reauthorizing violence against women!