consultants are sandburs

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Going armed to have a controversial discussion, Happy New Year, and other stuff at Volokh Conspiracy, now a Wapo feature. Bezos recruited a new friend, this one not an amazon. Also, Minnesota defamation law and California K-12 teacher tenure. Stuff to read.

The headline says enough to get readers to look here and here. Those items speak for themselves.

California teacher tenure, here.

The Minnesota criminal law appeal posture, and an EFF amicus brief are discussed here.

The amicus brief, pdf format, is online here.

With Moore v. Hoff as Minnesota precedent favoring First Amendment rights in stating a true statement about a public person, the case may involve a private person's greater rights against defamation; but it seems the statute is unreal; requiring a speaker or writer to have some hard to pin down litmus-test purity of motive. Motive failed to be a deciding factor in Moore v. Hoff, indeed, the trial court held motive relevant to the question of a true [hence non-defamatory statement under generally accepted law], being intentional interference with an employment situation, or an employment expectancy.

It seems the criminal statute is unconstitutional in cutting against long established law that truth is an absolute defense. The things lawyers think to argue, the things legislators write and enact; sometimes it leaves you shaking your head in disbelief.

Things being imposed to present chilling effects against fair speech are disfavored, as a general principle, because we treasure the First Amendment. After all, the framers made it the first one, for a reason.

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