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View Diary: You can't sue a website just because its users suck (64 comments)

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    •  near as I can tell... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrumpyOldGeek, dfsly, lostboyjim

      ... from a quick reading, the key points are:

      "Because long-established caselaw provides that speech--even speech by the press--that constitutes criminal aiding and abetting does not enjoy the protection of the First Amendment, and because we are convinced that [243] such caselaw is both correct and equally applicable to speech that constitutes civil aiding and abetting of criminal conduct (at least where, as here, the defendant has the specific purpose of assisting and encouraging commission of such conduct and the alleged assistance and encouragement takes a form other than abstract advocacy), we hold, as urged by the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, that the First Amendment does not pose a bar to a finding that Paladin is civilly liable as an aider and abetter of Perry's triple contract murder. We also hold that the plaintiffs have stated against Paladin a civil aiding and abetting claim under Maryland law sufficient to withstand Paladin's motion for summary judgment. For these reasons, which we fully explain below, the district court's grant of summary judgment in Paladin's favor is reversed and the case is remanded for trial. "


      "Paladin's astonishing stipulations, coupled with the extraordinary comprehensiveness, detail, and clarity of Hit Man's instructions for criminal activity and murder in particular, the boldness of its palpable exhortation to murder, the alarming power and effectiveness of its peculiar form of instruction, the notable absence from its text of the kind of ideas for the protection of which the First Amendment exists, and the book's evident lack of any even arguably legitimate purpose beyond the promotion and teaching of murder, render this case unique in the law. In at least these circumstances, we are confident that the First Amendment does not erect the absolute bar to the imposition of civil liability for which Paladin Press and amici contend. Indeed, to hold that the First Amendment forbids liability in such circumstances as a matter of law would fly in the face of all precedent of which we are aware, not only from the courts of appeals but from the Supreme Court of the United States itself. Hit Man is, we are convinced, the speech that even Justice Douglas, with his unrivaled devotion to the First Amendment, counseled without any equivocation "should be beyond the pale" under a Constitution that reserves to the people the ultimate and necessary authority to adjudge some conduct--and even some speech--fundamentally incompatible with the liberties they have secured unto themselves. "


      IMHO, 1st Amendment absolutism is as destructive as 2nd Amendment absolutism.  Good to see that the 4th District drew a line against a technical manual for murder.

      Thanks for posting that.  I'll read the whole thing in detail (rather than just looking for its key conclusions) after work tonight.  

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 03:23:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I still do not accept.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....the theory that instructions on how to commit crimes or otherwise commit noxious actions rise to the level of actionable conduct (either civilly or criminally) without something further - a direct contact with the actor with the knowledge that the information would be used to commit an illegal act.

        Then again, I am more of a First Amendment absolutist than most; I do not accept the theory of obscenity or blasphemy as a criminal or civil means to restrict speech, or even most cases of indecency on the public airwaves.

        You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

        by varro on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:24:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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