Aaron Walker Defeats Brett Kimberlin, Retains First Amendment Right To Blog About Him

Effluvia

Previously I wrote about how blogger Aaron Walker found himself temporarily jailed for blogging about convicted perjurer and domestic terrorist Brett Kimberlin and prohibited from writing about him. On June 25th Walker won a temporary stay of that order. Today, with the help of his very capable counsel Reginald Bours, Aaron Walker succeeded in overturning entirely Judge C.J. Vaughey's unprincipled and lawless prohibition against blogging about Brett Kimberlin. Judge Nelson Rupp ruled — quite correctly — that writing about someone is not the same as contacting or harassing them.

By all accounts, Kimberlin continued his censorious crusade, asserting that by writing about him Walker was inspiring others to harass him. For that matter, apparently Kimberlin views even examination in open court as harassment:

Kimberlin appeared at times during his appearance to be frustrated and angry. For example, when Kimberlin was asked about whether he had any knowledge of Mr. Walker’s recent SWATting, Kimberlin accused attorney Bours of harassing him by even asking the question, which he referred to as "despicable."

How big a victory is this? Consider the complete meltdown of Team Kimberlin Twitter account "OccupyRebellion":

You faked your swatting last week on the same day as your court case. Will you fake another one today now too? @AaronWorthing

By the time this is all said and done, you'll probably be homeless on the streets. How is this a "win" for you? LOL @AaronWorthing

There's still Brett suing you in civil court. This isn't about the so-called 1st Amendment anymore. @AaronWorthing

People won't be donating to you anymore. You now have to pay your own legal bills yourself. @AaronWorthing

Sooooo Breitbot predator @AaronWorthing thinks he "won" in court today against Brett Kimberlin. You are a shit lawyer if you think that.

(Emphasis added, delicious tears in original.)

I'm sure Aaron will write about this. In the meantime, he has a five-part series about his experience up.

This is a significant victory. Congrats to Aaron, and thanks for standing up.

Edited: Aaron's post about today is up.

Aaron's account shows how stunningly entitled Kimberlin is, and how much he is willing to trammel constitutional rights to avoid criticism:

Kimberlin also tried the argument that since he had set up Google Alerts—commands to Google to search the entire internet for mentions of his name and to mail him those links—that writing him on the internet was equivalent to sending him an email.

What kind of person thinks like that?

Last 5 posts by Ken White

60 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Joe  •  Jul 5, 2012 @3:10 pm

    Hurrah!!! Good for Aaron.

  2. Michael K.  •  Jul 5, 2012 @3:15 pm

    Ohhhhh, it's @OccupyRebellion! I was trying to follow them at @TeamButtHurt and couldn't figure out why they were being so quiet.

  3. rmv  •  Jul 5, 2012 @3:18 pm

    I'm going to start using "so-called" in everything now.

    My girlfriend is still angry at me. This isn't about the so-called drunk-dialing her best friend anymore.

  4. M.  •  Jul 5, 2012 @3:24 pm

    No, silly. When you're a terrorist, you inspire people to harass you all by your lonesome.

  5. Wil  •  Jul 5, 2012 @3:26 pm

    It reminds me of my ex-wife, who classifies any interaction that does not go 100% her way as "toxic".

  6. SPQR  •  Jul 5, 2012 @3:45 pm

    @OccupyRebellion will be enjoying the fruits of membership of the Brett Kimberlin crime family in short order, I predict.

  7. nlp  •  Jul 5, 2012 @4:15 pm

    What scares me about this is that Kimberlin was able to persuade Vaughey (who presumably went to law school and passed a test at some point or other about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights) that writing about someone was harassment. This isn't something just one political wing or another should oppose, this is a belief so dangerous that a judge who believed it should really have to prove he is capable of understanding what he's doing.

    I do have the image, however, of thousands of political reporters and bloggers being sent to prison for writing about any political candidate at all.

  8. W Ross  •  Jul 5, 2012 @4:45 pm

    We'll still donate. We need a Popehat legal defense fund.

  9. VPJ  •  Jul 5, 2012 @4:48 pm

    What kind of person thinks like that?

    An insane one. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

  10. Matthew Cline  •  Jul 5, 2012 @4:48 pm

    Sooooo Breitbot predator @AaronWorthing thinks he "won" in court today against Brett Kimberlin. You are a shit lawyer if you think that.

    Having a restraining order against you overturned doesn't count as a "win"?

  11. Margaret  •  Jul 5, 2012 @4:55 pm

    "Kimberlin also tried the argument that since he had set up Google Alerts—commands to Google to search the entire internet for mentions of his name and to mail him those links—that writing him on the internet was equivalent to sending him an email."

    And as long as there are a lot of far, far less-than-Internet-savvy judges, he can probably convince them of that.

  12. Joe  •  Jul 5, 2012 @4:57 pm

    W. Ross – I think Right Solutions here http://rightsolutions.org/projects/bloggersdefenseteam/

    and the EFF are great places to donate to help people like Aaron, Doe, etc.

  13. SarahW  •  Jul 5, 2012 @5:11 pm

    A psychopathic person thinks like that. And maybe one who has problems with metaphor.

  14. azteclady  •  Jul 5, 2012 @5:19 pm

    Entitlement, the new black.

  15. Mike K  •  Jul 5, 2012 @5:43 pm

    So, any bets on how long it'll be before the next attack on Mr. Walker will be? This group doesn't sound like the type that would give up solely because they lost.

  16. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 5, 2012 @5:49 pm

    Anyone found any evidence of this "civil suit" that OR claims Brett filed against Aaron?

  17. BettyR  •  Jul 5, 2012 @6:47 pm

    I've been following this from the beginning, and note that several people have asked in the comments section on several blogs, why a current picture of Brett Kimberlin and a different one (than what has been used consistently) of Neal Rauhauser can't be posted? Neal appeared in court with Brett today. I know cameras can't be used in court, but what about in the courthouse. One of the bloggers noted that he saw the two of them together in the hallway…..

  18. Matthew Cline  •  Jul 5, 2012 @7:02 pm

    Ah, in answer to "how in the world isn't this a win for Walker" (though not an answer to me in particular):

    The one who lost is Aaron. Can't claim to be a "victim" anymore. Can no longer beg for money anymore.

  19. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 5, 2012 @7:08 pm

    Betty, Neal was the one handing Brett documents during the hearing…

  20. BettyR  •  Jul 5, 2012 @7:21 pm

    Scott, yes, I read that. What I'm asking is why isn't there an up-to-date picture of Brett…mainly we see him as the young criminal. I've only seen one picture of Neal…..and it is not one that was taken recently, I don't believe. Just wondering why someone in court today didn't take a picture of Neal and Brett while they were in the hallway.

  21. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 5, 2012 @7:41 pm

    There are pictures, though none are very recent – newest I know of is probably 8 years old or so…

    But why use the old pics?

    Because those are from his "drug-smuggling, preteen-grooming-for-marriage, bomb-setting" days.

  22. Sarahw  •  Jul 5, 2012 @8:29 pm

    Scott, I'm guessing that's the fallback.

  23. Michael  •  Jul 5, 2012 @8:32 pm

    I was really worried Walker was going to shoot himself in the foot (representing himself, taking the iPad away from Kimberlin) and lose this case.

    Free speech, not conservationism, is today's victor.

  24. John David Galt  •  Jul 5, 2012 @8:55 pm

    Just overturning the outrageous court order is only a start. Now we've got to find Kimberlin's pals who did the "SWATting" and put them in jail.

    Or get police departments to stop and think before making SWAT raids on the say-so of one non-traceable caller. Or both. Until then no one is safe.

  25. d-day  •  Jul 5, 2012 @9:26 pm

    @Betty

    My understanding is that the courthouse rules prohibit photography anywhere in the building.

  26. Joe  •  Jul 5, 2012 @9:48 pm

    d-day. Indeed that is the idea. Interesting that the "not Kimberlin" site Breibart Unmasked (don't visit without a proxy service plz) has a picture of Aaron clearly taken without his knowledge – at the courthouse during what appears to be the original hearing or the one right after that.

  27. AlphaCentauri  •  Jul 5, 2012 @9:54 pm

    I sort of assumed the photos on jtmp.org were of Kimberlin, identified as "JTM."
    www.jtmp.org/jtmp/index.php?q=image/tid/15
    www.jtmp.org/photos.htm

  28. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 5, 2012 @10:58 pm

    @Alpha – He's the guy in the ball-cap, I am rather certain.

  29. Yar Kramer  •  Jul 6, 2012 @7:47 am

    @rmv:

    I'm going to start using "so-called" in everything now.

    My girlfriend is still angry at me. This isn't about the so-called drunk-dialing her best friend anymore.

    I'm sorry, but the first thing I thought of was "Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed jury, here is a picture of Chewbacca …"

  30. mojo  •  Jul 6, 2012 @9:13 am

    "Thinks like that" is probably incorrect – I doubt he does. But he'll use any bizarre theory he can grab hold of in the effort not to get exposed.

  31. EBL  •  Jul 6, 2012 @12:28 pm

    We won a battle, but the war continues…

  32. singersdd  •  Jul 6, 2012 @5:38 pm

    I remember the Speedway bombings in 1978; I was 10. The whole of central Indiana was in terror of touching any abandoned package of any sort for weeks. The man set bombs in Indianapolis to be found by just anybody who happened along. What's he done since his release from prison to prove that he's not still psychotic? And why in the world would anyone with the intelligence to type the name in a search engine ever give him money?

  33. Sarahw  •  Jul 6, 2012 @6:04 pm

    Singersdd…oh, making videos about how Bushitler has all made us irrationally fearful of unattended gym bags and packages

    http://allergic2bull.blogspot.com/2012/05/did-brett-kimberlin-mock-his-victim.html

  34. Sarahw  •  Jul 6, 2012 @6:14 pm

    The above brought to you by the so-called first amendment. That was one of the posts affected by the so-called "common sense" of judge Vaughey.

  35. Patches  •  Jul 6, 2012 @10:01 pm

    I wonder if Charles Carreon is paying attention …

  36. Chris R.  •  Jul 6, 2012 @11:38 pm

    I just wish people on the left were paying more attention to this case. It's rather sad when political divides are causing a miscarriage of justice to float under the mainstream media.

  37. edgreen86  •  Jul 7, 2012 @2:07 pm

    I guess I'm living a very sheltered life, but I had no idea this kind of horrid crap was going on. Now I feel like I need a fallout bunker and guard dogs and never venture out into the world again, just to protect me from this kind of nonsense.

    Wow…

  38. Matthew Cline  •  Jul 7, 2012 @6:04 pm

    Walker now has up a partial transcript of the hearing that got the peace order tossed.

  39. Piper  •  Jul 10, 2012 @3:26 pm

    Salon has an interesting recap – not sure what to make of it, but it appears to take a look at this from the "this is an f-ed up mess all around" perspective:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/07/10/brett_kimberlin_versus_right_wing_bloggers/

  40. SPQR  •  Jul 10, 2012 @4:16 pm

    Piper, that piece is full of inaccuracies and misstatements. It takes every claim of Kimberlins and treats them as credible no matter how ridiculous and treats every claim of Patterico, Worthing, Stack and Erickson and pretends to be skeptical.

    Even treating Kimberlin's falsehoods about his convictions as serious issues demonstrates that its a piece of Kimberlin propaganda.

    Its plainly the product of a sympathetic interview of Kimberlin.

  41. Piper  •  Jul 10, 2012 @4:51 pm

    I give the Kimberlin defense squad about as much credence as I give o'keefe and some of Breitbarts stuff, which is why I take all of this with a heavy dose of salt. I suspect that there are elements of truth in both areas and probably more paranoid persecution on both sides than lady justice could possibly weigh at this time. As an example, if I see the "Soros-funded" angle in a story about this, I'm much less likely to take that as a credible source as it is a very thin link to the Right wing boogeyman. Additionally, I think the lawfare and probable SWAT-ting cases need to be more thoroughly investigated in official ways. I'm actually rather surprised that there wasn't more movement on the Frey SWAT-ting, as that targeted a public official.

  42. SPQR  •  Jul 10, 2012 @7:05 pm

    Piper, you give each side equal credence? And which side is it again that involves a convicted perjurer? Which side is it that grounds the whole conflict in a fantasy conspiracy to somehow magically make Anthony Weiner send out pictures of himself?

  43. Patrick  •  Jul 10, 2012 @7:57 pm

    http://patterico.com/2012/07/10/salon-does-damage-control-for-brett-kimberlin/

    Piper will of course discount this deconstruction of Salon's blowjob on Kimberlin, because it comes from a biased source, i.e. someone involved who has personal knowledge.

    As opposed to the account of a former Gawker writer (Alex Pareene presently at Salon), who only interviewed one source, a perjurer and murderer whose own friendly biographer described him as a "top flight con man".

    To my mind, a hackjob from a writer who couldn't make it at Gawker has as much credibility as a NAMBLA Times article on the late Michael Jackson's wonderful work with kids. A hackjob from the same writer, only interviewing Kimberlin, has as much credibility as a NAMBLA Times appreciation of Michael Jackson's wonderful work with kids written by Jerry Sandusky.

  44. SPQR  •  Jul 10, 2012 @9:19 pm

    Well said, Patrick. I wanted to write something like that but … but well, you know … Ken.

  45. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 10, 2012 @10:26 pm

    Salon is still around?

    Who knew?

  46. Andrew Roth  •  Jul 10, 2012 @11:28 pm

    Patrick,

    On the whole, I think Alex Pareene did a pretty good job on his overview of the Kimberlin saga for Salon. Your point that he should have interviewed Kimberlin's adversaries for the article is well taken, and I think his explanation for Judge Vaughey's ruling (i.e., that he was an old fuddy-duddy ignorant of the ways of the Internet) was too forgiving for a ruling in which the judge callously disregarded the settled applicable precedent in Brandenburg, but I'd say that these are relatively minor flaws in what I found to be a very coherent, well-written, evenhanded and morally grounded article. I've been underwhelmed by Pareene's writing in the past, but this time I'm impressed.

    Pareene was certainly more sympathetic towards Kimberlin than you, Ken or pretty much any member of the right-wing blogosphere has been, but he also made some harsh, unambiguous statements about Kimberlin being a man of very poor moral character. I did not take Pareene's piece to be a hack apology for Kimberlin.

    Pareene dropped the ball on the legal implications of Kimberlin's frivolous peace order applications being granted, and I think he should have researched and thought about the applicable law more carefully, but I thought he did a good job on presenting the broad moral considerations of a very convoluted legal situation. It's obvious that some of Kimberlin's opponents are dubious characters. This is not at all to suggest that they don't deserve full and equal protection under the law, but it's relevant to their attempts to present themselves as underdogs. Partisan hacks, particularly on the right, are adept at falsely exaggerating their sense of grievance and persecution, and even when they do so in the context of responding to vexatious legal process they should be called out for it.

    I agree with Pareene that this whole controversy appears to be at least in part a product of the right-wing hive mind. Initially, I was convinced that the hive mind was right about the matters at hand, but at this point I'm not convinced that some of Kimberlin's opponents haven't misrepresented relevant facts in order to distort the debate in their favor. It's unfortunate that a bunch of partisan gutter snipes who have purposely undermined the public discourse are being portrayed as heroes merely because they are the victims of Kimberlin's lawfare. Hence, I think Pareene was right to argue that this is not a clearcut case of evil Kimberlin versus holy conservatives and to point out that his opponents aren't as unambiguously in the right as has been suggested.

    One of the things that I find most pathetic and disturbing about this debate is that the Bureau of Prisons has been presented as a sort of hero by default because it incarcerated Kimberlin for his crimes. There appears to be a strong case that the BOP treated Kimberlin unlawfully. The facts that Kimberlin committed heinous crimes and deserved to be incarcerated are no excuse for that.

    Finally, is there any truth to Pareene's allegation that Kimberlin's prosecution was grossly mishandled? What Pareene described would be intolerable if true.

  47. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 10, 2012 @11:35 pm

    at this point I'm not convinced that some of Kimberlin's opponents haven't misrepresented relevant facts in order to distort the debate in their favor

    Name even ONE.

    And Doug Douglas doesn't count.

    It's unfortunate that a bunch of partisan gutter snipes who have purposely undermined the public discourse are being portrayed as heroes merely because they are the victims of Kimberlin's lawfare.

    Yeah, you're really open-minded about this.

    There appears to be a strong case that the BOP treated Kimberlin unlawfully

    By "strong case", you mean the bullshit lawsuits Brett filed, right?

    Because there isn't a single shred of other evidence – not one iota. The only thing they are to be condemned for is releasing that worthless piece of shit, that worthless fucking terrorist, that pathological liar before his 50 years were up.

    He should, if there were a good and just God, be rotting in a fucking prison cell until the year 2031.

  48. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 10, 2012 @11:38 pm

    Finally, is there any truth to Pareene's allegation that Kimberlin's prosecution was grossly mishandled?

    Not according to every. Single. Court that hear his motions.

    Though you might be right… I mean, after all, they DID opt to not prosecute Brett for TRYING TO ARRANGE THE MURDER OF THE LEAD PROSECUTOR…

    You know, I'm going to walk away before I start saying shit that's gonna piss Ken off.

  49. joe  •  Jul 11, 2012 @5:10 am

    @Andrew Roth "It's obvious that some of Kimberlin's opponents are dubious characters."

    I'm curious on who you would include in that list.

  50. Piper  •  Jul 11, 2012 @11:38 am

    Patrick – you know me better than that, even if I am one of the more left-wing readers here, I do tend to go so far left as to hit many libertarian points on the circle. I did read Patterico's response, and I do feel that not interviewing him was a significant omission. I also noticed that SPQR was the first person to comment on that post. Additionally, I have seen the way that these stories get blown up in the echo chamber with the same bloggers dogpiling on the same story to land on Memeorandum. HOwever, I don't think that a sympathetic interview in this case is a bad thing, though I do believe it is less biased than many of the blogs I've seen writing about the case (excluding Popehat, naturually :). The problem with those blogs to me, is that they've cried wolf so many times, that massive amounts of filtering and verifcation is necessary. I still know Kimberlin was convicted of the bombing on more than one occasion (criminal & civil), that he uses legal tactics that I associate with asshattery, and which deserve the scorn they are getting (this situation wouldn't be as bad save for that idiot judge). I hope Patterico's evidence does get someone arrested and convicted of SWAT-ting and more comes out on that front, because it is loathesome, but I'll reserve judgement on those crimes until there is real evidence and not mere allegations, as I consider them very serious. I don't care to be part of a lynch mob, but I do want to see justice.

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