Bad Reporting on Matthew Keys' Possible Sentence Conceals Prosecutorial Power

For years I've been grumbling ineffectually about how the media gets criminal justice stories wrong. In particular, I've repeatedly complained that the media distorts stories about federal criminal prosecutions by reporting the statutory maximum sentence that defendants face without noting that the actual remotely plausible sentence they face is usually much lower. Here's a case in point, and here's why you should care. Yesterday a federal jury in Sacramento convicted former Reuters … [Read More...]

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The War For Free Speech Laws, Hearts, And Minds Is Endless

I do not anticipate an end to the war for, or against, free speech in academia. Last week was a bloody one in that struggle. In California, the Regents of the University of California had an opportunity to wave glorious banners of censorship, blow trumpets, and retreat from the field. Some committee or working group […]

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Dress For The Pony You Fear, Not The Pony You Have

Ken, My name is Annita Johnson, and I am contacting you regarding your site at I currently work for a company that maintains a website that offers kid's games; it's called I'm sure you must have heard of it by now. We are nationally recognized, reliable source for kid's games, and we are […]

In Re: Writ of Pony

Hello, My name is Meggie. I am a writer and I have contributed to various blogs. I wanted to talk to you about contributing an article on your blog. I’ve been working on a couple different articles that I think your audience would find enlightening. I’m curious to know which one you think might be […]

A Tale of Two Consequences For Censorious Asshattery

The wheel turns slowly, my friends — but it turns. Here are two stories of the wheel grinding down censorious jackasses. Mayor Jim Ardis Costs Peoria Taxpayers $125,000 Plus Legal Fees Remember Peoria Mayor Jim Aris? He's the jackass who took offense to a satirical Twitter account and used a crony cop and a compliant […]


Satire vs. Potentially Defamatory Factual Statements: An Illustration

Earlier today, author John Scalzi posed this question: I am incapable of passing a question like this without answering it. Moreover, as luck would have it, I just finished a brief on the subject yesterday. So: here is the short answer. The book title is almost certainly parody protected by the First Amendment, because an […]

Patterico Prevails: Vexatious Legal Attack on Speech Fails

For the last few years I've had the privilege of acting as pro bono counsel for Patrick Frey, who blogs as Patterico, in defense of a thoroughly frivolous federal case filed to censor his speech. That's given me the invaluable opportunity of working with the redoubtable Ron Coleman as co-counsel both in the district court […]

Prior Restraint of Daily Iberian More Outrageous Than We Feared

Last week I described how District Judge Curtis Sigur issued a broad temporary restraining order at the behest of attorney David Groner imposing clearly unconstitutional prior restraint on the Daily Iberian of New Iberia, Louisiana. This is not a story where the facts, as they come out, show that everyone overreacted. This is a case […]

Feat. photos by Brian Adams, Valette Keller, Craig Richmond, and Grace Virginia Kari, and illustrations/photos by Patrick Race

Let's Put Her Over The Top

Waayyyy over the top! Attention, lovers of quirk: Alaskan songwriter Marian Call's current kickstarter campaign has managed to fund her forthcoming album, but she's still shy of a stretch goal. Her instrument (apart from voice) is keyboard, and yet she does not own one. Imagine having to cross the wintery wilderness to find an 88 in […]

Louisiana Judge Issues Ludicrously Lawless Takedown Order To Newspaper

Attorney David Groner of New Iberia, Louisiana is angry. Those bastards at the Louisiana State Bar took a run at him, but he mostly beat the rap. He only took a six-month suspension, and that suspension is suspended if he successfully completes a year of probation. But then some jackass on the web forum of […]


Lawyer Threatens Yelp Reviewer With Lawsuit, Is Wrong

Kyle Barella is an immigration lawyer with his own firm. Last week he gave an "exclusive" interview to Breitbart News Network on his views about birthright citizenship and the whole "anchor baby" controversy. That was, of course, his right. He said he thinks that birthright citizenship is being abused and that we should end it. […]

Lawsplainer: How Did the Fifth Circuit Narrow Student Free Speech Rights?

Last week, in Bell v. Itawamba County School Board, an en banc panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit spent 101 pages arguing over when students can be punished for off-campus speech, and ultimately significantly limited them. Wait. You expect me to read a 101-page court opinion? I don't expect […]

Old Dumbinion

Old Dominion University: Offensive Messages On Private Property "Will Not Be Tolerated"

As the summer of August burns away into September's fall, traditional parades of parents escorting their sons and daughters off to college are in full swing.  After a long, relatively uneventful summer, students and administrators alike have returned and are eager to resume their own tradition: indulging their basest impulses. Kicking things off this year are the […]