Freedom to blog updates: Aaron Walker fights Brett Kimberlin gag order; the Left and endless lawfare; Update: New motion filed
David Hogberg of Investor’s Business Daily has done a terrific job covering blogger Aaron Walker’s ongoing battle against speech-squelching Speedway bomber and online harasser Brett Kimberlin.
Hogberg reports on the latest developments with links to documents:
Back on May 29th, Brett Kimberlin won a peace order hearing in Maryland District Court against Aaron Walker, claiming that Walker’s blogging and tweeting of Kimberlin’s violent past and his previous interactions with Kimberlin in court constituted harassment.
Judge C. J. Vaughey granted Kimberlin his peace order. Walker was also arrested after the hearing because Kimberlin had filed a criminal complaint the weekend before the hearing stating that Walker had violated a temporary peace order. As Capital Hill noted last Friday, the Maryland State Attorney dropped those charges, a victory for Walker.
Now Aaron Walker has retained the services of attorney Reginald Bours to fight the peace order. Uploaded here is a letter Bours has sent to Kimberlin. Bours does not mince words:
This is a complex case, and, as a lawyer, I try to see both sides of an issue. However, based on my review of the facts, I do not believe you have had a proper basis to file either of the peace orders you have presented to District Court Commissioners, usually late at night on weekends.
The attached motion addressed every citizen’s right to free speech. If you truly respect that right, you should withdraw this peace order.
The motion Bours refers to is an emergency motion he has filed for a partial stay or a modification of Kimberlin’s peace order that would in effect lift the peace order until the Appeals Court hears the case on July 5th.
The motion is worth reading for the case it lays out against Kimberlin’s so-called evidence. What’s most revealing is that Judge Vaughey not only ignored the Brandenburg standard for speech, he also appears to have ignored Maryland law.
Related from Curt Levey on the Left and lawfare tactics:
Lawfare’s most persistent practitioner is probably Brett Kimberlin, founder of the radical Justice Through Music Project. He has targeted conservative bloggers like Andrew Breitbart, Patterico, Aaron Worthing, and Liberty Chick, in part, by filing over 100 harassment claims against them [MM note: claims filed in general, not just against blogger targets] in various courts.
Kimberlin claims that blogging the truth about his criminal record – which includes 17 years in federal prison for a weeklong bombing spree – constitutes harassment because it results in angry emails from the blogger’s readers. When Kimberlin gets lucky and finds a naive judge, he not only forces the blogger to defend himself in court, but also gets a restraining order against further “harassment.”
In addition to the courts and White House, the left is turning to various agencies in the Obama administration for help in intimidating their opponents. Angered by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s support of “Stand Your Ground” laws, left-wing groups are coordinating a campaign against ALEC, which includes an IRS complaint challenging its tax-exempt status.
These groups have every reason to expect the IRS will give the complaint high priority. After all, as Sen. McConnell noted, “dozens of Tea Party-affiliated groups across the country learned what it was like to draw the attention of the speech police when they received a lengthy questionnaire from the IRS demanding attendance lists, meeting transcripts, and donor information.”
…Bureaucrats and Congressmen have proved useful allies in the left’s war on conservative speech, but sometimes you need the old-fashioned kind of intimidation that only guns can provide.
Accordingly, radical leftists have enlisted the unintentional assistance of the local police in harassing conservative bloggers like Erick Erickson, Patterico, and Mike Stack of Anthony Weiner fame. Using a technique called “SWAT-ting,” a 911 call is made, ostensibly from the blogger’s home, to tell the police he just killed somebody.
A SWAT team descends on the house and orders the blogger to come out with his hands up.
Of course, enlisting the government’s help in the suppression of speech is not the only problem with SWAT-ting. It’s also a criminal act, something the left is increasingly resorting to to silence conservative voices.
What are they up to next? Patterico exposes their latest plans and writes:
This lawfare will never, ever stop until someone puts a stop to it — in a legally sound and morally defensible manner.
Some court is going to have to tell Brett Kimberlin that he is not allowed to shut up his critics by using the courts.
You read it here first.
UPDATE: This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: if you are following Kimberlin; or going to his house; or taking pictures of him; or calling him; or emailing him; or publishing his home address; or contacting him or harassing in any way, you are a) an idiot and b) doing this without my blessing. Such idiotic actions are the last thing I want, as I have said many times.
The Law Office of Bruce Godfrey, in professional cooperation with Dan Backer, Esquire, of leading Washington, DC, campaign finance and political compliance law firm DB Capitol Strategies PLLC, has today filed a Complaint and Motion for Emergency Preliminary Injunction on behalf of plaintiff and attorney Aaron Walker, Esquire against activist Brett Kimberlin in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Greenbelt Division.
Pending the imminent formation of a legal defense fund, the Law Office of Bruce Godfrey is participating in this litigation pro bono publico on behalf of Mr. Walker, due to the paramount constitutional principles at stake in the dispute outlined in the Complaint and Motion for Emergency Preliminary Injunction. No further discussion of the merits of the case would be appropriate here at this time, out of respect for the rights of Plaintiff Walker and Defendant Kimberlin to a fair and unbiased jury trial, which the Complaint requests on issues so triable. The relevant filings are available from the electronic filing and records systems of the United States District Court.
The Law Office of Bruce Godfrey is honored to participate in this case.
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