The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Newland, about that 1st Amendment...

When the sentencing went down yesterday,
I took a breath and went "huh?" when the Judge
said Bob couldn't speak out on his issue for the term
of his sentence.

Something seemed wrong with that to me,
so I'm looking for an explanation. I'm guessing Bob
has to be pretty careful here, but I'm noticing Powers,
Heidleberger, and Wooster all have their red flags up too.

I'll try to keep my powder dry and just open up the
topic here, hoping that some judge or lawyer will
see fit to give us an explanation as to how kosher
such a requirement in sentencing is.

I will note that on another matter, Judge Delaney
seemed quite firmly resolved that even though Bob's
attorney's request for a suspended imposition
of sentence seemed reasonable on its face, it was
not his desire to "legislate from the bench"
without there being some prior legal precedent.

So I'm assuming that, in Judge Delaney's mind
there must be ample precedent for sentencing
away Bob's 1st Amendment rights...

I just can't recall what it might be.

Anyone? Anyone?
Backchannel: A friend on facebook writes:

I don't know the legal answer to the question--
intuitively I think the silence condtion
is unconstitutional. Also intuitively I think the
SD Supreme Court (4-1), and probably the
US Supreme Court (albeit 5-4) would disagree
with me. Practically speaking it would cost Bob
a bunch more money to get an answer that
would probably not be good.

Judge Delaney is also an old friend of mine
and I think he was quite sincere in all of his remarks
--my speculation is that the Judge was thinking
something like: "look I'm giving you a kind of a
break here and I'll be damned if I'll let you trumpet
about the absurdity of the marijuana laws during
your probation, because it's kind of thumbing
your nose at the system and at me."


Good insight, I think.

Perhaps he'll check in here
and give us more... perhaps not.

Meantime, I'm still a little verklempt.
So g'head. Twak amongst ya-selves.

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