October 1, 2013
Lafayette, Louisiana is known as the capital of Cajun culture—and it’ll now also exist as a reference point in First Amendment case law.
On Monday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that previously allowed a website created by current and former members of the Lafayette Police Department, describing allegations of top-to-bottom corruption, to be shuttered. (City officials denied the site’s allegations.)
Initially, the Lafayette Police sued the owners of the site and got a magistrate judge to order that the site be “closed and removed immediately.” This was a way for that court to avoid influencing a prospective jury pool in a related civil case.
The magistrate needs remedial First Amendment training.