We Had TOP LAWYERS Working on it. TOP. LAWYERS.

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9 Responses

  1. wizardpc says:

    As a Tennessee political blogger who has sat through many committee meetings, I can assure you that not a damned one of them understands what's constitutional and what's not.

    Their definition of unconstitutional is generally a variation of "I really don't like this bill, but I can't articulate my objections and it appears it's going to pass without my vote."

  2. bw says:

    So, Ken, did you follow up directly with Curtiss regarding his idiotic response, and did you do so in a manner that revealed your level of knowledge?

    His next response might be even more amusing.

  3. TJIC says:

    Nice (and subtle) Indy reference in the subject line!

  4. Ken says:

    bw, I didn't see much point, as it would be more personal amusement than dialogue. I already linked Prof Volokh's post in my original email. If they don't respond to that, they're not going to respond to my puny efforts.

  5. Burt Likko says:

    1. You win the entire internet with this blog title. And that's not just hyperbole.

    2. As a former citizen of the fine state of Tennessee, I have no doubt whatsoever that Rep. Curtiss is quite sincere about how everything's going to be perfectly okay because, you know, both Republicans and Democrats got behind this one. The response you got, though, is pretty typical. when I complained to my legislators about pending legislation, I received near-immediate, personal, and intellectually inane responses directly from the legislators themselves. That's how they roll in the Volunteer State.

    3. This bill is exactly why something like cyberbullying is such a delicate issue to approach from a legal perspective. Rep. Curtiss is trying to call a sledgehammer a scalpel here, and it's not even clear that cutting at all is even permissible.

  6. Tim says:

    As a fifth-grade teacher, I'd like opinions on what (if anything) can be done about online bullying without violating the letter or intent of the Constitution. I've seen young people hounded mercilessly and publicly, sometimes to the point of doing violence against themselves or their tormentors. Can our state legislators offer some remedy that would not be a sledgehammer? Maybe we can specifically target abuse against minors who are not public figures? Or is online abuse of children just something we have to put up with?

  7. Patrick says:

    Ask to speak to them after class?

    Call their parents?

    Belittle them in front of their peers?

    Is this really going on in fifth grade? Most fifth graders can't spell CAT SAT ON A MAT, much less access Facebook or create a website at killpiggy.com.

  8. Ken says:

    Welcome, Tim. (Folks, Tim is an actual teacher, in addition to songwriter and accomplished fellow geek.)

    Tim, the recent Supreme Court decisions suggest that schools can do something about online bullying when they can make a showing that the bullying is causing an actual disruption at school. That's already within educators' powers. If bullying is actually provoking violence at school, it's within the school's circle of authority. Beyond that, there's an array of tools already available: stalking laws, threat laws, restraining orders, etc.

    This law isn't just a sledgehammer. It's a pony nuke. Legislators made no perceptible effort whatsoever to narrow it to the types of circumstances you suggest.

    In a perfect world, I think that Patrick is right that we'd use social pressures to protect such kids and pressure the parents of bullies. Failing that, it's extremely difficult to construct something that's not just a vague discretionary tool to be used against the disfavored.

  1. June 16, 2011

    [...] A politician emails Ken; Ken remains unconvinced, unsympathetic to categorical thinking. [PopeHat] [...]