Good News for the First Amendment


Colorado lost its first attempt to crush Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop in a 7-to-2 Supreme Court decision affirming the baker’s First Amendment right to practice his religion and not bake a cake dedicated to promoting something contrary to his beliefs. In response, the Colorado (so-called) Civil Rights Commission filed a second case against Phillips. In response, Phillips sued the Commission in federal court alleging violation of his civil rights.

The Daily Signal reports that both the Commission and Phillips have dropped their cases.

The members of the state’s commission could have been held “personally liable” for harassment if the matter continued, said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

“It’s probably because they may have finally gotten scared that they were going to get hit with sanctions for, in essence, directly thumbing their nose at the Supreme Court and the court’s decision in this issue,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal. “It could make them personally liable for damages if they abuse their positions to try to harass an individual.”

In the 7-2 majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: “The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated [Phillips’] objection[.]”

It’s amazing how the possibility of being held personally responsible for one’s virtue signaling can change someone’s perspective. Actual accountability and the possibility of real consequences usually moderates behavior.

We need to see more of this.

Quote of the Day


The right to criticize;
The right to hold unpopular beliefs;
The right to protest;
The right of independent thought.
The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn’t? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.

—Margaret Chase Smith

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Here’s the TKPOTD from five years ago today. I’ve got some further comments about The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin’s absurd stalking claim further below.

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This is from paragraph 30 of The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin’s frivolous Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. lawsuit that he’s filed in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland.BK v AW AmendCompl 30

Brett Kimberlin is a public figure, and any court case involving him is a legitimate news story. A blogger’s attendance at an open court hearing in order to cover such a story is protected by the freedom of the press clause of First Amendment. Furthermore, in order to stalk someone in Maryland … oh, I’ll let the statute explain itself …

Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 3-802

(a) “Stalking” defined. — In this section, “stalking” means a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear:
(1) (i) of serious bodily injury;
(ii) of an assault in any degree;
(iii) of rape or sexual offense as defined by §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of this title or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;
(iv) of false imprisonment; or
(v) of death; or
(2) that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in item (1) of this subsection.

(b) Applicability. — The provisions of this section do not apply to conduct that is:(1) performed to ensure compliance with a court order;
(2) performed to carry out a specific lawful commercial purpose; or
(3) authorized, required, or protected by local, State, or federal law.

So what TDPK is alleging is that my being in the same courthouse as he was, surrounded by bailiffs, deputy sheriffs, county police, and state troopers, put him in fear of serious bodily injury, assault, rape, false imprisonment, or death—or made him fear for some third party’s safety. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that only a compulsive liar could say that with a straight face.

But let’s pretend that he really was frightened by my being at the courthouse. As the judges have told him, I had a right under state law to be present at open court hearings. There is also the protection offered by First Amendment, but Brett Kimberlin has shown over and over again that his is no friend of the freedoms of speech or of the press.

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For some reason, the judge who presided at the hearing on motions to dismiss the Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. LOLsuit failed to dismiss the stalking count. She should have because stalking isn’t a cause of action for a civil suit in Maryland. Indeed, stalking not being a tort was the ground that the judge who presided at the hearing on motions for summary judgment threw out the claim at that point.

Shining the light on certain vermin will usually make them scurry away into hiding. Not all of them can make to cover, and some of the ones who can’t will try to extraordinary means to punish those who tell the truth.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


About a month-and-a-half after The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin filed his Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. nuisance LOLsuit against Aaron Walker, Ali Akbar, Stacy McCain, Kimberlin Unmasked, and me, he filed the his federal LOLsuit that I mockingly referred to as Kimberlin v. The Universe, et al. RICO Madness LOLsuit. By the time he finished adding parties, there were two dozen defendants in that case. The RICO Madness LOLsuit was dismissed except for one count against one defendant. A civil rights complaint against Patrick Frey (who blogs as Patterico) was allowed to go forward into discovery. I renamed that part of the case the RICO Remnant LOLsuit.

Although I was a non-party in Kimberlin v. Frey, TDPK sent me a subpoena for emails and other communication I had had with Patterico. The service on the subpoena was defective, so I didn’t have to comply. However, I voluntarily gave Kimberlin the emails I had which were not subject to joint defense privilege. I did so because there was nothing in the emails that was related to his LOLsuit, and I hoped to avoid any further involvement in the case,

I was wrong.

Kimberlin asked the court to sanction me because I didn’t give him what he wanted.

Three years ago today, I ran a Kimberlin v. Frey News post that contained my opposition to his motions for sanctions. As you can see, I had to file part of my opposition under seal.

* * * * *

The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin filed a motion for contempt or sanctions against me in the Kimberlin v. Frey RICO Remnant LOLsuit. Last week, he finally got around to serving a copy of the motion on me. I have now filed a response. Because I had to discuss confidential discovery material from the case in my filing, I have filed it partially under seal.

Here is the redacted version that is publicly available on PACER.

The motions speak for themselves. I do not wish to make any further comment on the matter until the court has ruled.

* * * * *

The court never actually ruled on Kimberlin’s motion to sanction me. However, it became moot when summary judgment was granted in Patterico’s favor and the case was terminated.

I’m still bound by the protective order, so I can’t talk about the contents of the emails, except to say the really weren’t helpful to Kimberlin’s case. In fact, if I hadn’t been bound by the protective order, I might have used them in my suit against Kimberlin.

Whatever.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Folks just finding this blog are sometimes confused by the ongoing coverage of Brett Kimberlin and his minions. This TKPOTD from four years ago provides some historical perspective. The Gentle Reader should note that it was written after Kimberlin had lost the first state LOLsuit, but before any of the follow on federal or state cases had been resolved.

* * * * *

Every once in a while, I find it useful to present a review of some of the names used for Brett Kimberlin and Team Kimberlin and how they have evolved. After all, not all the Gentle Readers have been following The Saga since May, 2012, as I have.

Back in May, 2012, Brett Kimberlin had secured an unconstitutional gag order against Aaron Walker that prohibited Aaron from even speaking or writing about Kimberlin publicly. I began referring to Kimberlin as Lord Voldemort (i.e., “He who must not be named”) and his supporters as Death Eater Wannabes. After the gag order was overturned, it wasn’t long before Kimberlin put up a pirate-themed fundraising website called the Bloggers Offense  Fund. (That was an attempt to play on the name of a site called the Bloggers Defense Fund.) That’s when I began referring to Kimberlin as The Dread Pirate Kimberlin.

TDPKVarious members of Team Kimberlin have earned positions on the crew. These include First Mate Neal Rauhauser, Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt™, Very Ordinary Seaman Ferguson, Chief Pedo Officer Gillette, and 57F Osborne.

In mid 2013, Kimberlin upped the ante in his campaign of lawfare. He filed suit against Aaron Walker, Stacy McCain, Ali Akbar, Kimberlin Unmasked, and me. He sued us in a Maryland state court for $1,000,000 claiming a bunch of stuff that boiled down to defamation and false light invasion of privacy in the end. Following the Team Kimberlin lawfare strategy, TDPK sued us without hiring a lawyer. Self-representation is referred to a acting pro se. Thus, The Dread Pirate Kimberlin morphed into The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin.

TDPK has also been referred to as The Dread Pedo Kimberlin and The Dread Performer Kimberlin in reference to the charges filed against him by his wife and to his singing, respectively.

I’ll conclude with these words which were originally posted in September, 2012—

The Dread Pirate Roberts, so the story goes, is a pirate of near-mythical reputation, someone feared across the seven seas for his ruthlessness and swordfighting prowess, and who is well known for taking no prisoners. Ships immediately surrender and give up their cargos rather than be captured, a fate they imagine to be certain death.

The Dread Pirate Kimberlin is more like a legend in his own mind, a pretender who wishes to be feared for his ruthlessness and legal ability and to be known for vanquishing all comers in court. Critics, he thinks, should immediately stop telling the truth about him and give up their First Amendment rights at his command.

It turns out that Dread Pirate Kimberlin’s legal acumen seems to be as fictional as Dread Pirate Roberts’ existence. And no one will surrender to Dread Pirate Kimberlin.

UPDATE—As Ron Coleman notes in his comment below, some of the defendants in the RICO Madness have surrendered to TDPK. However, most have not. Four of us beat him in state court. The same four and our codefendants will also beat him in federal court.

* * * * *

I should make several follow up comments.

First, The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin lost every single civil case he filed and saw every single criminal complaint he filed dropped.

Second, he morphed from Dread to Deadbeat by not paying any of the sanctions imposed  against him or costs taxed to him.

Third, Ron Coleman and his co-counsel Bruce Godfrey followed through with their pro bono representation of blogger Patrick Frey, winning a summary judgment in the defendant’s favor on Kimberlin’s civil rights claim against Patterico.