Posted on | February 19, 2014 | 33 Comments
One June 4, 2012, Ace published a blog post that began, “I’m writing a post about what’s happened to Ali Akbar.”
That post was cited by Brett Kimberlin as “evidence” that Ace was part of a vast conspiracy. Now, it’s like a latter-day Dreyfuss case:
Convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin’s federal lawsuit against bloggers and journalists is “an attack on free speech,” a prominent First Amendment attorney said Tuesday, announcing that he would represent an anonymous blogger who is a defendant in the case.
Paul Alan Levy of the non-profit group Public Citizen noted that he had once represented Kimberlin, at the time a federal prison inmate, in a case where Kimberlin’s First Amendment rights were at stake. However, Levy said, Kimberlin is now threatening the rights of others in his attempt to use his current federal lawsuit to obtain the identity of the popular conservative blogger known as Ace of Spades: “Among the defendants in the action is an anonymous blogger whom Kimberlin sued for allegedly ‘imputing’ that Kimberlin was involved in SWATting. . . . Because the blog post said nothing of the kind, I agreed to represent defendant ‘Ace of Spades’ in opposing Kimberlin’s request for judicial permission to pursue discovery to identify Ace of Spades.” . . .
In his court motion on behalf of Ace of Spades — whose defense is also supported by the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — Levy argues: “Protection for the right to engage in anonymous communication is fundamental to a free society. … Not only his conservative adversaries but other bloggers attentive to free speech issues have taken Kimberlin to task for improperly using the courts as a weapon against his critics, a technique that they call ‘lawfare.’ … For example, several bloggers have taken Kimberlin to task for using a subpoena to identify one Aaron Walker, which resulted in Walker’s being terminated from his employment, and then pursuing a series of peace orders in Maryland state court which led to Walker’s arrest because a state trial judge believed that Walker’s having blogged about Kimberlin was a violation of a previous peace order.”
Read the whole thing at The American Spectator. I doubt Kimberlin v. Ace of Spades will ever become a landmark Supreme Court ruling, something your grandchildren will read about in histor4y books, but crazier things have happened, so you never know.