Gilmore v. Jones, et al. News


It’s been about two years since Brennan Gilmore filed a defamation suit in the U. S. District Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, against Alex Jones and a non-related group of defendants. Earlier this year, the judge ruled against most of the defendants’ motions to dismiss (Allen West’s motion was granted), and all but one of the remaining defendants then filed motions for reconsideration or for an interlocutory appeal to a higher court to resolve disputed matters of law. Those motions were fully briefed, so the court scheduled a hearing to consider them on 5 September. However, the court gave notice last week that it would rule on the motions based on the written briefs and that the hearing was cancelled.

Since the briefs were filed, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that bears on when a district court must certify a question for an interlocutory appeal. The lawyer representing several of the defendants had planned to bring that ruling to the court’s attention during the hearing. Because he will no longer have that opportunity, he has filed a motion to be allowed to supplement his brief.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


The idea for Blogsmoke came out of a lame attempt by Matt Osborne at Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Unread to make fun of me as someone who imagined himself as the sheriff of the Internet. And so, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System was born. As the Twitter Town Sheriff’s department expanded, Blogsmoke begat BlognetThis episode first ran five years ago today.

* * * * *

BlognetTitleCardMUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.

NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

MUSIC: Up, then under …

NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. A noted anti-First-Amendment activist has sued a group of bloggers trying to shut down their free speech and free press rights. Your job … get the facts.

MUSIC: Up then under …

ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.

MUSIC: Up and out. Continue reading

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran five years ago today.

* * * * *

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Hi, Johnny.

JOHNNY: Hello.

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Johnny, have you checked GoodGuysUnmasked today?

JOHNNY: Not yet. What will I find?

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) The Bunny has published photos The Bomber says he took of some green cards before he mailed them.

JOHNNY: Yeah?

RULE 5 GIRL: He’s saying the photos are proof you got things wrong about whether the cards he submitted to the court are genuine.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


The episode of Blognet first ran five years ago today.

* * * * *

BlognetTitleCardMUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.

NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

MUSIC: Up, then under …

NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. A noted anti-First-Amendment activist has sued a group of bloggers trying to shut down their free speech and free press rights. Your job … get the facts.

MUSIC: Up then under …

ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.

MUSIC: Up and out. Continue reading

The Old Normal


Several conservative commentators have taken the position that Donald Trump’s tweets about The Squad last weekend were a PR blunder. One pundit described it as an “own goal.” I disagree. While I might not have phrased those tweets exactly as the President did, I believe that his main point—Why don’t you go straighten out one of those troubled foreign countries you admire (eg., Somalia, “Palestine”) to provide a worked example of how you think we should change America?—is a valid put-up-or-shut-up challenge to those congressional novices.

I also think that he’s been smart in refusing to back down, and there’s a post over at Bookworm Room that provides a partial explanation of my view. Over the past decade, the Left has successfully narrowed the range of “respectable” public opinion (called the Overton Window). Trump is forcing the allowable range of our public conversation back to realm of opinions held by most sentient adult Americans, including many, if not most, Leftists.

Think of ideas that were normal just a decade ago: using pronouns consistent with biological sex, worrying about Muslim-inspired terrorism, admiring the Founding Fathers, believing that a traditional male-female marriage is optimal for raising children, mentioning the Judeo-Christian God in public, questioning anthropogenic climate change, or being anything but mindlessly positive about a member of a “Progressive protected victim class.” Nowadays, thanks to relentless media, entertainment, political, and educational pressure, voicing those ideas creates the risk that the speaker will be shouted down, humiliated, fired, or even physically attacked.

Read the whole thing.

Donald Trump is sometimes inarticulate or coarse. But just as the economy has improved by the changes the President has championed to the New Normal economy, our public discourse will likely benefit in the long run as we allow the values that made America great to compete with the New Normal in the marketplace of ideas.

First Amendment 1, Baltimore 0


Several years ago, a Baltimore resident called 911 to report a burglary and wound being beaten, tased, and arrested by the police officers who responded to the call. Her claim against the Baltimore Police Department spent several years in the courts and was finally settled. Baltimore includes a “non-disparagement” clause in such settlement agreements, so when the women spoke to the press about her experience, the city reduced her settlement payment in accordance with the non-disparagement clause.

She sued in U.S. District Court, claiming that the clause violated her First Amendment right to speak freely about the government. She was joined in the suit by the Baltimore Brew. The Brew claimed that the city’s use of such agreements violated its free press right to investigate and report on matters of public interest such as police misconduct. That suit was thrown out by the District Court on summary judgment.

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has reversed the District Court’s granting summary judgment in Baltimore’s favor and sent the case back to the lower court.

The City has not identified a comparably compelling public good or other legitimate governmental aim that was, or could be, furthered by enforcement of the non- disparagement clause (other than a general interest in using settlements to resolve lawsuits). Consequently, the City is not entitled to summary judgment on Overbey’s First Amendment claim.

Also,

we conclude that the Brew has sufficiently pleaded an ongoing or imminent injury in fact that is both traceable to the City’s challenged conduct and redressable by the court. As discussed above, neither the parties’ arguments below nor the district court’s disposition went meaningfully beyond the pleadings in evaluating the Brew’s standing. We therefore decline to do so ourselves— even though the order under review is nominally a grant of summary judgment to the City. Instead, we remand to give the parties and the district court an opportunity to develop the evidentiary record relevant to the Brew’s claims.

It will be interesting to see how the case unfolds.