Some More Gilmore v. Jones, et al. News


Brennan Gilmore was present at the Charlottesville riot in 2017. He recorded a car being driven into a crowd that resulted in the death of a women, and he posted that video online. He also made appearance in the news media discussing what he saw. As a result, Gilmore and his video became a topic of controversy, and Gilmore was upset with some of the commentary. He has sued Alex Jones and a host of others for defamation in federal court. When the judge in the case denied most of the motions to dismiss, two separate groups of defendants filed motions for reconsideration or for an interlocutory appeal of the dismissals to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judge has granted a motion certifying an interlocutory appeal of the following question:

Where an online journalist or publisher with a national audience purposefully and primarily focuses their coverage underlying the suit-related conduct on forum-state events and persons, is such conduct sufficient for a forum court to assert specific personal jurisdiction over that journalist or publisher?

I found footnote 1 interesting.

However this question is limited, the Fourth Circuit may nevertheless review uncertified issues contained within the Court’s order on Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss. “[W]e would not necessarily be limited to only those questions expressly or implicitly identified as ‘controlling’ by the district court; under § 1292(b), appeal is from the order certified, not from particular rulings embodied within it.” Fannin v. CSX Transp., Inc., 873 F.2d 1438, 1989 WL 42583, at *3 (4th Cir. 1989) (unpublished).

IANAL, but seems as if the judge in taking note that the defendants could raise other issues related to the motions to dismiss beside the certified question in their appeals.

This could be interesting.

Bad First Amendment News


TechDirt reports that a state court judge in Rhode Island has issued a restraining order requiring a Massachusetts blogger to take down allegedly defamatory posts. The order was issued without a hearing, creating due process issues in addition to being clearly at odds with the First Amendment.

There’s more about the case over at The Volokh Conspiracy where Eugene Volokh points out that the First Circuit Court of Appeals (Rhode Island in in the First Circuit) has ruled that even permanent anti-libel injunctions barring the repetition of statements found to be libelous at trial are unconstitutional.

The ACLU is representing the blogger and has removed the case to federal court.

Stay tuned.

The Newspapers v. Maryland


I’ve previously posted about a group of newspapers filing suit against Maryland to stop the state’s unconstitutional attempt to regulate political advertising on the Internet. The newspapers are seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the law from going into effect. The State has filed an opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction.

There will be a hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction. It was originally scheduled for early October, but the lawyers and Judge Grimm are trying to resolve scheduling conflicts. When the hearing is scheduled, I’ll make arrangements to attend and report on it.

Don’t Know Much About History


A writer for Teen Vogue tweeted this—I, on the other hand, have been falsely accused of a crime, so I have a different appreciation for the presumption of innocence. Ms. Lindin seems all to willing to take away someone else’s civil rights if that means achieves her desired end. If she thought … oops, wrong word … imagined her own rights were on the line, I doubt that she would be willing to pay that price.

No young women from Salem, Massachusetts, were available for comment.

#FascistTwit

UPDATE—The lessons of history teach that these folks will be granted all possible due process rights—

Do Something!


One of the most offensive things that I’ve heard from certain quarters on the Left is that we Conservatives who say that we pray for the victims of mass shootings should “do something” instead. As someone who believes in the efficacy of prayer, I believe that praying is doing something.

Moreover, the Left also generally implies that we Conservative don’t want legislative action taken to make mass shootings or gun violence less likely, and that’s simply not true. The rejection of flawed proposals from the Left by thoughtful Conservatives is not a call to do nothing. Rather, we propose solutions which involve moving away from failed policies and repealing ineffective (or actually harmful) laws.

For example, the elimination of gun-free zones allows people to better defend themselves. A mass shooting was nipped in the bud at a church near Nashville a few days ago by a concealed carry permit holder who resisted the shooter.

So it is time to do something. Let those of us who pray do so, and let’s all of us demand that Congress repeal and replace federal laws and regulations that cannot be shown to have improved public safety and demand that Congress exercise its authority under the Fourteenth Amendment to preempt state laws which deprive citizens of their rights under the Second Amendment.

Everyone Blog About the Howard County State’s Attorney Day


If you’re so concerned about your safety, don’t come to Maryland.

That’s what Jim Brewer, an Assistant State’s Attorney in Howard County told Mrs. Aaron Walker when she sought the protection of the Maryland legal system from a stalker. The stalker, by the way, was convicted serial bomber Brett Kimberlin.

When the Walkers met with ASA Brewer concerning an harassment charge against Bill Schmalfeldt, he came into the meeting with his mind already made up to drop the charge on Schmalfeldt. When Lee Stanahan met with Brewer about a similar charge against Schmalfeldt, he came in with the same no sale attitude, and even after listening to Mr. Stranahan’s side of the story, would not promise anything.

The State’s Attorney dropped both Stranahan’s and Walker’s charges against Schmalfeldt. That was done without providing the notice of the change of hearing date to either complainant. They only found out when Hogewash! alerted them, and this blog only found out because of a tip from a commenter. This doesn’t seem to be within the spirit of Maryland’s victims’ rights procedures.

I propose the following. Over the next couple of weeks, I encourage bloggers to contact the Howard County State’s Attorney Dario J. Broccolino for comments on those cases and the following questions in particular:

1. Is it the position of the State’s Attorney that operation of a blog allows one unlimited license to contact another person without regard to Maryland Criminal Statutes 3-803 and/or 3-805?

2. Does Mr. Broccilino believe that a public person such as himself may not seek to demand that someone cease contacting him as provided by Maryland Criminal Statutes 3-803 and/or 3-805?

3. Is it the policy of State’s Attorney that non-residents of Maryland must or should avoid entering the state if they are being stalked by a Maryland resident?

On Monday, 8 April, 2013, I suggest that those bloggers who have contacted the Howard County State’s Attorney post the answers they have received along with any comments they feel would be appropriate—8 April should be Everyone Blog About the Howard County State’s Attorney Day.

The Howard County State’s Attorney’s phone number is (410) 313-2108.
The fax number is (410) 313-3294.
The email address is sao@howardcountymd.gov.