I hold no brief for Sarah Palin, and respectfully but forcefully dissent from her apparent belief that criticism of her amounts to a violation of her First Amendment rights, because my God that's stupid.
But it's regrettable that she — like other public figures — is a nut magnet, and that the cost of her participation (whatever you think of its quality) in national discourse is that she and her family and associates are subjected to death threats by freaks.
Yesterday Craig Christy and his son Shawn Christy were arrested on a federal indictment out of Alaska. They're accused of interstate telephone harassment in violation of 47 U.S.C. section 223. The indictment — which I've hosted here — is characteristically vague, but the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint — which I've hosted here — depicts some nasty, nutty, legitimately scary threats and harassing conduct towards Palin's lawyer, John Tiemessen, who previously arranged a restraining order against Shawn Christy.
It will be interesting to see how the case plays out, and whether the defendants attempt some sort of First Amendment defense. I won't prejudge whether the statute is vague or overbroad, but the conduct described in the affidavit, if true, certainly falls outside of free speech.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Shock, Dismay In Academia At Scorpion Acting Like Scorpion - June 28th, 2017
- Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat? - June 21st, 2017
- The Power To Generate Crimes Rather Than Merely Investigate Them - June 19th, 2017
- Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander - June 17th, 2017
- Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times - June 8th, 2017