former Judge Mary Hamm cheatsformer Judge Mary E. Hamm cheater

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wow - where is Judge Hamm when you need her?

You probably heard the widely reported story by now of the man who is being threatened with jail for posting comments about his ex-wife on Facebook? As in our blogger's case here, the man's comments were not sent to the subject. The former was merely exercising his First Amendment right and posting his thoughts and opinions about someone on the Internet. In our blogger's case, he expressed his thoughts through private letters to others!

But now a judge is penalizing in the man, as in our blogger's case, for speaking his mind.

Really, the solution here is to repeal state "harassment" laws. They violate the First Amendment right to free speech. This is partially what our blogger's federal lawsuit, Michael's Law, is about.

Here are excerpts from the story:
CINCINNATI (AP) — A man [Mark Bryon] who was threatened with jail time for posting comments about his estranged wife on his personal Facebook page unless he posted daily apologies for a month says the court ruling violates his freedom of speech.

. . . the Cincinnati man and free speech and media experts say it should concern other users of the social networking site.

With hundreds of millions of people using Facebook for communication, Byron said that "if they can do this to me, they can do it to others." [AMEN! They have!]

The idea "that anybody could tell you what to say to your friends on Facebook should be scary to people," said Cincinnati attorney Jill Meyer, who specializes in free speech and media issues.

The ruling is highly unusual and "troubling because it's a court telling someone to say something to — in some regards — his chosen group of friends," said Meyer. She noted that the comments were not directed to Byron's wife, Elizabeth Byron, who was blocked from accessing the page. [That is, it's a Fifth Amendment violation. Forcing a 'confession' if you will, out of someone by threatening them with jail.]

According to the ruling, Byron posted comments on his page in November, saying in part, "If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband's life and take your son's father away from him completely — all you need to do is say you're scared of your husband or domestic partner and they'll take him away." [Hey Judge Mary Hamm? Remind you of anyone?]

Byron's comments expressed frustration, but they were not threats and he didn't make them to his wife, said Cincinnati attorney Jack Greiner, who also specializes in free speech and media issues.

Greiner said he doesn't think the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and of the press, "allows a court to find that someone has harassed or caused a person to suffer mental abuse merely by expressing one's opinion about a court proceeding in a non-threatening way." [BINGO!]

Greiner said that a court compelling speech through a court-written apology raises as many free speech concerns as actions prohibiting free speech.

The ruling says several of Mark Byron's comments were "clearly intended to be mentally abusive, harassing and annoying" to his wife and "generate a negative and venomous response toward her from his Facebook friends." [So what? Even if they were, it's a right we have. This is Thought-Police stuff. And what, you don't think his ex-wife is telling her friends mentally abusive, harassing and annoying things about her husband?]

His comments were "nothing other than free speech communication where he was venting truthful information," Ford said.

We hope they make a federal case out of it. This harassment by women has got to stop.

Free Speech. Use it or lose it.

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