Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

This has been filed in the Walker v. State of Maryland, et al. appeal—

The amicus brief described in the motion that Prof. Volokh seeks to file appears to be identical to the one he filed in last year’s appeal of the case against the State of Maryland. That appeal was rejected because of a clerical error by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County who failed to obey the judge’s instructions to sever the case against the State from the case against the Kimberlins. The combined case is now on appeal following the trial with the Kimberlins.

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Meanwhile, it’s T-minus 9 days and counting in the Hoge v. Kimberlin, et al. lawsuit.

Walker v. Maryland News

An amicus brief has been filed with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in the Walker v. Maryland case. The party filing the brief is the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project. The lead attorney on the brief is Eugene Volokh.

Prof. Volokh has a post about the brief over at The Volokh Conspiracy blog at WaPo. Read the whole thing.

Inconvenient Statistics

Eugene Volokh has run the numbers, and it turns out that there is no significant correlation between the strictness of gun laws and homicide rates. (There is a slight correlation between strict gun laws and higher homicide rates, but that inconvenient result isn’t strong enough to be significant.)

Of course, correlation isn’t causation, but the lack of correlation is a good indicator of a lack of causation.

But since people have been talking about simple two-variable correlations between gun laws and crime, I thought it would be helpful to note this correlation — or, rather, absence of correlation.

Read the whole thing.

There were a couple of details in Prof. Volokh’s article that I found interesting. Tennessee, my home state which has relatively good (i.e., non-restrictive) gun laws, has essentially the same homicide rate as Maryland where I live now and which has some of the heaviest restrictions on firearms.

Prevarication Du Jour

ftrrnews201310092359ZDoes Eugene Volokh agree with Bill Schmalfeldt’s interpretation of U. S. v. Cassidy? Well, it’s certainly true that Prof. Volokh agrees that writing about someone on the Internet is protected speech. But how about writing to someone? I’ll the good professor speak for himself. Here’s what he had to say when writing about the patently unconstitutional peace order Brett Kimberlin secured against Aaron Walker last year, an order that forbade Mr. Walker from writing about Kimberlin—

The old narrow restrictions might well be constitutional (see, e.g., Rowan v. U.S. Post Office Department), but precisely because they deal with essentially one-to-one speech — restricting such unwanted speech to an unwilling listener leaves the speaker free to keep talking to other, potentially willing listeners.

Of course, it is just that sort of one-to-one speech that the Cabin Boy engaged in after being asked to stop which violated Maryland’s harassment law. Prof. Volokh also notes that

[p]erhaps a specific statute that bars the deliberate sending of one-to-one messages to a person who has asked that the messages stop, or who would otherwise clearly be substantially distressed by the messages, might be constitutional.

So it looks as if Prof. Volokh might agree that old-fashioned harassment statutes apply to behavior on the Internet just as they do in the real world. Perhaps the Cabin Boy should ask Eugene Volokh to file an amicus brief.

Calling Their Bluff

The ACLJ has sent a letter to Kevin Zeese responding to his document hold request to the National Bloggers Club informing him that all further correspondence should be directed the ACLJ.

It will be interesting to see if Brett Kimberlin Lord Voldemort has the gumption to face a legal team led by David French and including Eugene Volokh.