Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How Far Does The First Amendment Extend?

For the lawyers and potential lawyers among us, I present the following:

Heated words fly in N.M., and legal trouble ensues
New Mexico man is facing the possibility of a year in jail for carrying a picket sign that called a police officer a "liar" and a "dirty cop."

...The case is the most recent in a small but steady stream of prosecutions under state laws, some dating to the 19th century, that criminalize false, damaging statements about officials or private citizens.
Note that the argument here is not about criticizing the government, per se, or an elected official, but a government employee, in this case a police officer.

Now, I know I may be missing something here. I'm pretty sure e..gage knows more about First Amendment law than I do.

Does the state have the authority to limit free speech in this manner? By the same token, how much abuse to our public officials have to accept? I'd like to hear your thoughts.


At 12:18 PM, Blogger j.m. said...

It probably has to do with the technicalities of the laws regarding slander and libel. Though, e.gage would be the one to comment, not me. I'm not in law school.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Christopher King said...

There is a move afoot to keep people beat down. Check out my case here in New Hamsphire. I have written most of a successful Ohio First Amendment appeal in State v. Lessin, 67 Ohio St.3d 487 (1993) and I have been a First Amendment scholar and journalist.

The NAACP threw me under the bus because they ran scared of the local police here when I merely wrote a Demand Letter and "threatened" a press conference. Wow.


and see also:


At 6:00 PM, Blogger Christopher King said...

Whoa, check out today's update from 2 of the courts in which we are involved.



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