With the publicity have come tipsters; Judge Grendell is apparently both feared and despised. One tipster pointed me to a time that Judge Grendell took a different approach to free speech.
In 2003 Grendell was an Ohio state representative. In the context of a symbolic and rather belated vote to ratify the 14th Amendment, he was quoted sneering at the Democratic sponsor of the vote as an illiterate:
Talking about the case that determined "separate but equal," the story said: "Grendell said Mallory should read the case, Plessy
vs. Ferguson, but he doubted Mallory would understand it. 'He's the only reason I might support the OhioReads program,'
Grendell said, referring to the state's volunteer tutoring program."
For what it's worth, Grendell is white and Mallory is black.
This generated condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats. Then-Representative Grendell defended himself, saying he was taken out of context and sounding a ringing endorsement of free speech:
The true irony of the situation is that had I made the comments attributed to me, it would have been my right to do so, without
censure or reprimand, based on my 1st Amendment Right to free speech," he wrote.
How did Judge Grendell descend from celebrating his constitutional right to be an ass in 2003 to mouthing platitudes about limits on free speech in 2015? What a curious journey for a "constitutional oriented judge and legal scholar."
- These quotes come from a March 16, 2003 article in the Times Recorder of Zanesville, Ohio entitled "Even GOP boss wants Grendell censured for his comments." It's available on Westlaw, but I decided attaching the whole thing would exceed fair use. ▲
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