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May 6, 2009

Should pending legislation worry federalist and Supremacy Claus?

This new postat the "Threat Level" blog at Wired.com, which is titled "Prison Awaiting Hostile Bloggers," might give pause to some of this blog's most frequent commentors.  Here are the details:

Proposed congressional legislation would demand up to two years in prison for those whose electronic speech is meant to “coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”  Instead of prison, perhaps we should say gulag.

The proposal by Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Los Angeles, would never pass First Amendment muster, unless the U.S. Constitution was altered without us knowing.  So Sanchez, and the 14 other lawmakers who signed on to the proposal, are grandstanding to show the public they care about children and are opposed to cyberbullying.

The meaasure, H.R. 1966, is labeled the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act. It’s designed to target the behavior that led to last year’s suicide of the 13-year-old Meier....

Sanchez’s bill goes way beyond cyberbullying and comes close to making it a federal offense to log onto the internet or use the telephone.  The methods of communication where hostile speech is banned include e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones and text messages.

We can’t say what we think of Sanchez’s proposal.  Doing so would clearly get us two years in solitary confinement. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Because they often stir up good debates, I am genuinely grateful for the engagement of federalist and Supremacy Claus and other commentors who harass me (at least when they make a genuine effort to be thoughtful and on-topic).  But, as this Wired post and my own post title are meant to highlight, the line between cyberbullying and robust on-line debate can be hard to draw; I especially do not like the idea of any legislation that would require federal prosecutors to be in the business of drawing this line.

May 6, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink


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The left executed 100 million people, and still failed to persuade. And not even China is left wing. Only Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, George Bush, and American academia maintain that superstition.

Blogger sacrifices would be small in comparison. All my comments are coming from the deepest love. There is no love greater than a love great enough to correct.

I would love to be prosecuted by federal thugs. I would get standing to legally deter a DOJ division. It would be an opportunity to have judicial review of all self-dealt, criminal cult enterprise immunities. To deter.

The lawyer is twice as oppressed as the public by this hierarchy. Taking it down would help the lawyer more than it would the public. Who else will do more for the lawyer? Not even its mother would. Find a greater love. Statues of the Supremacy will be commissioned by the ABA if he can persuade anyone to help this pathetic, but still indispensable profession.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 6, 2009 1:12:34 PM

I have not read this bill. Did it immunize the electronically filed utterance in a law suit? I found those, even when weak, to be very upsetting, distressing, seeking to coerce a payment of money. I found adverse judge rulings to be very upsetting, distressing and coercive. I would like to send plaintiff lawyers and judges to jail, under this new legislation when it passes. I find the proposed legislation, electronically posted on a government web site to be upsetting, distressing and coercive. I would like to see the sponsors go to jail, unless they granted themselves immunity from their own laws. Is Congress allowed to exempt itself from its own laws?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 6, 2009 1:26:01 PM

Well, Doug, I agree with you here. The whole thing is silly.

Posted by: federalist | May 6, 2009 1:30:16 PM

kudos to SC who concedes at last, albeit grudgingly, that the cult criminal, rent-seeking, pathetic lawyers are, after all, "indispensable." You be they are. Wait until you're indicted.

And double Kudos to federalsit who finally agrees with Prof. Berman on something.

Dare I suggest a toast?

Posted by: anon | May 6, 2009 1:49:16 PM

Anon: The rule of law is an essential utility product like the water, and electricity. Turn it off, and you have Fallujah. You are spending full time on personal safety.

I want it on for the American public, more than 2 hours a day for the rich, and more than 2 minutes a day for the poor.

Start doing your job. The failure of every goal of every law subject is unacceptable.

Also, I believe in torts. End all self-dealt immunities to improve the performance and to deter the carelessness and massive damages.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 6, 2009 1:59:13 PM

While I think at times SC crosses the line (usually with such hyperbole that I doubt anyone takes it seriously),I don't ever really recall federalist harassing anyone. Now I wonder what I've missed.

Posted by: Daniel | May 6, 2009 2:41:20 PM

Dan: If you can think of any other way to improve the law than to arrest the hierarchy, give them a fair trial, and shoot them in the court basement right afterward, I am interested in it. This is a cult. Nothing will change before you take control of the bodies.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 6, 2009 3:24:29 PM

Daniel: You must have missed comments like federalist telling a commentator with whom he disagreed to "take his meds." Federalist likes ad hominem attacks. On the other hand, I'm not sure this constitutes harassment. As for Supremacy Claus, I have to disagree with Prof. Berman. I don't think his "comments" stir up interesting debates or do anything else worthwhile (except maybe to make federalist feel like he has a political soulmate).

Posted by: anon | May 6, 2009 6:39:32 PM

This is why Democrats annoy me every bit as much as Republicans.

Posted by: DK | May 6, 2009 11:45:17 PM

Well, anon, here's another ad hominem attack . . . . If you think that it's even debatable that such posts could actually constitute harassment (and your post indicates that you do . . . .), then it's fair to ask you whether your mother dropped you on your head when you were a child.

Posted by: federalist | May 7, 2009 1:25:21 PM

Post the email address of every legislator who sponsored this bill and let the bullying begin.

Posted by: mpb | May 7, 2009 2:04:44 PM

Anon: Genuine debate is tough to begin. First, you probably cannot openly utter the V word. Go ahead. You just can't.

Second, you are mired in indoctrination into supernatural unlawful core doctrines. Having the Catholic Catechism adopted wholesale as the law of the land is no more acceptable to Establishment Clause jurisprudence than having Sharia as our law. These core doctrines are not facts in nature. They are fictional.

You would need months of deprogramming from your supernatural indoctrination. It has involve custody of the body.

Third, we would be trying to take away $trillion a year from the criminal cult enterprise, and to take away control of the three branches of government. Anyone who has tried to take candy away from a baby, knows, not easy.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 8, 2009 12:26:15 AM

Given the track record of Medieval Church treatment of the Jews, how any Jew here can collaborate with sickening, fictional, lawyer, core cult doctrines is a tribute to the efficacy of the indoctrination. Not a word is coming from the Jews about this Franciscan/Dominican legal system of oppression using garbage, anti-semitic concepts. "Usury" is always lawyer code for Jew; "reasonable" means the New Testament is superior to the Old Testament; Edward I, whose portrait is in the hall of great law makers in the House of Representative, gathered hundreds of Jewish lenders, and discharged his debt by killing them all on the spot, ending his "mortgage". He invented forcing the Jew to wear yellow Stars of David whenever out in the street. It is his law the Jewish lawyer practices nearly unchanged. Not a word of protest can be heard.

The Moslems were far kinder to the Jews. Any hint of acceptance of any part of Sharia law would sent up cries of protest from them.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 8, 2009 12:38:53 AM

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