Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A chance to fight for free speech

When people talk about fighting for a cause, I usually picture something glorious, risky and public. There is always a lot of shouting and fists raised in the air.

Today is different. Today I am picturing myself stooped over folders of documents, brief conversations with indifferent clerks and reading a lot of obscure written words.

Free speech guardian and snarky law blogger Ken White is recruiting a team to prepare a motion to determine legal thug Brett Kimberlin a vexatious litigant, which is someone who abuses the legal system with frivolous lawsuits and motions. Kimberlin is a terrorist, by which I mean he used bombs in 1978 to attack random strangers, and a pedophile, by which I mean he had sex with a 15 year old girl when he was in his 40's. When bloggers criticized his role in the political activism community following his release from prison in 2001, he filed lawsuits against them, as well as the bloggers who wrote about the lawsuits.

Kimberlin is a bad man, but there is one issue that needs to be addressed: He's been active in left-wing circles and I'm a right-winger. I don't want to be mistaken for fighting for this cause because he's attacking speech I may agree with. My real motivation is in defending free speech and putting a boot in to kick a censor, and I hope that's what will motivate the others on our side. If left wing bloggers find themselves being targeted in a similar way I will be happy to come to their aid.

I'm not a lawyer, and my legal judgement is not refined enough to contribute usefully for the vexatious litigant motion, but I am familiar with retrieving legal documents. Many of these legal documents can not be found online and people are needed to find and make copies of them for the rest of the team. One thing I have going for me is that I live within a reasonable drive of both the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

I love blogging about free speech, what it is and what is isn't, and I believe strongly in talking to people as an approach to social change, but it'll be good to put in some hard work that can make an impact in the legal system.

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