August 20, 2011

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL ORDERS: “Respondent Is Prohibited from Posting Any Information/Comments … on Any Internet Site Regarding the Petitioner [the Mayor’s Sister] and … Her Immediate or Extended Family.”

This order is a blatant First Amendment violation, it seems to me. Even if the injunction restricted only speech that allegedly fell into a First Amendment exception (such as libel or threats or obscenity), such an injunction would almost never be constitutional unless it was issued following a final decision on the merits that the speech indeed falls into a First Amendment exception — and there was no final decision on the merits here: This is a preliminary injunction issued at an ex parte hearing at which defendant wasn’t even present.

Judges issuing this sort of order shouldn’t just be reversed, they should be disciplined.

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