If You’re Determined to Write about an Unjust Restraining Order (or Other Procedural Violation), There’s No Point in NOT Naming Names

TALKING BACK to restraining orders

The title of this post requires qualification. There is a reason not to name names in critical speech, especially speech that’s published: It’s safer, because you’re less likely to provoke the subject’s wrath. The catch is that if you write so innocuously (i.e., so generally and anonymously) that the subject doesn’t care, then your speech will have exerted no coercive effect. Coercive speech (speech intended to make someone reconsider his or her conduct) is protected by the First Amendment…which does not mean a trial judge will know it is. The only “safe” speech is no speech. Similarly, though, speech that fails to have any resonance may as well have been unexpressed.

Critical speech ABOUT a person, including speech intended to exert a coercive influence, is protected by the First Amendment. Putting someone on a dunking stool by holding up his or her conduct to public scrutiny in a one-to-many medium…

View original post 1,000 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s