Some (more) bright news at the end of a depressing week:
— Popehat (@Popehat) April 20, 2013
Details to follow at Popehat.
Comments are open.
UPDATE: Ken’s post is up here. I plan to blog this result in more detail on Monday morning. There are several reasons for this proposed delay. Hopefully, the entire country will not be as focused on tonight’s arrest of the Boston Marathon bomber. Hopefully, the steady drumbeat of depressing news of violence will have dwindled to a trickle. Finally, traffic should be back to normal weekday levels. I hope to publish my detailed post on this at a moment when the glorious tradition of people reading blogs at work is being observed with all the energy America’s workforce has to offer.
But for now, I would like to focus your attention on three brief points.
First: Ken quotes two footnotes from the judge’s tentative ruling, which was confirmed (and expanded upon) today. The judge twice threatened Nadia Naffe and/or her attorney with sanctions “for Plaintiff’s (and/or her counsel’s) willingness to play fast-and-loose with the language that is actually at issue here.” That’s a quote from the judge, folks. I didn’t make it up. As Ken points out, while the judge did not ultimately follow through on the threat, the language is nevertheless telling. To quote Ken:
Though Judge Wu did not ultimately award sanctions, I look forward to quoting those words on appeal or in a state court motion for sanctions if Naffe re-files there.
Second: Ken and I in particular got to face, not just criticism, but “vapid and dishonest partisan hacks” who criticized both of us for standing up for free speech — including “the greasy, demi-literate, demented Hutt who wrote an extended quasi-sexual fantasy about a mob murdering Patrick and me.”
Hi, Bill Schmalfeldt! I understand you were curious about the result of this case. I’m happy to be sharing that with you! And, your sick, twisted fantasies notwithstanding, nobody has yet beaten me or Ken with baseball bats or tire irons. No group of men has thrown us in front of a moving truck as part of a conspiracy to cause our deaths. (If you think I am exaggerating, I have uploaded a .pdf of Schmalfeldt’s violent fantasy here.)
Third: Ken’s post, and the conduct of Ken White and Ron Coleman throughout this litigation, is an inspiration to people everywhere who stand up for free speech. Ken makes the point well when he says this:
I defended [Patterico] because the First Amendment that lets him speak freely lets me speak as well. I defended him because malicious, frivolous, and politically motivated lawsuits aimed at censorship make it a little more dangerous for each of us to speak. I defended him pro bono because frivolous lawsuits can effectively censor people even when they eventually fail, because the expenses of lawsuits can be ruinous.
When I told Ken this evening by email that I could not thank him enough, he told me: “[T]o pay me back, keep writing what you want to write, and encourage people to support free speech, especially for people with whom they disagree.” That brings tears to my eyes. It makes me want to stand up and start singing “God Bless America.” And, on a more practical level, it redoubles my resolve to continue donating to organizations like FIRE — and to continue to stand up for free speech rights on this blog, even when I disagree with the opinions being expressed.
That’s more than I expected to say in this post — and yet, I plan to blog this result with a little more specificity on Monday. For those of you who have specific questions about the litigation, I hope to be able to point you to court documents that address some of the issues, and make it clear why this litigation has been such an abusive attack on legitimate criticism of a public figure.
In the meantime, go read Ken’s post in its entirety, and please give him and Ron Coleman your thanks for the service they have done, not just for me, but for the cause of free speech in America.
UPDATE x2: Thanks very much to Instapundit for the link. Once any new readers have finished bookmarking this site, I hope they visit the blogs of my pro bono lawyers: Popehat and Likelihood of Confusion.