Imprisoning hostile leftist bloggers

I wonder whether Linda Sanchez has considered that the bill she proposes (which Glenn Reynolds linked here and here) -- to Imprison Hostile Bloggers -- would make felons out of some leading left wing bloggers.

The text of the bill (H.R. 1966) says this:

(a) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(b) As used in this section --

(1) the term 'communication' means the electronic transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received; and

(2) the term 'electronic means' means any equipment dependent on electrical power to access an information service, including e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones and text messages.

How about trying to get someone fired from his job because you disagree with his opinions? Does anyone remember the repeated leftist campaigns which were mounted against Glenn Reynolds to do just that? I remember them well, and while I spoke out against them, it never would have occurred to me to pass a federal law making felons out of people like Steve Gilliard and Paul Campos (as well as countless lesser bloggers who joined in the campaigns to have Glenn fired).

Needless to say, campaiging to get someone fired will "coerce, intimidate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to a person" so if the bill is passed, to prison these hostile leftist bloggers must go!

Personally, I think the "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act" is mistitled. I realize that the repeated calls for firing never drove Glenn to suicide, but have his hostile blogging enemies on the left ceased their ruthless campaigns of harassment?

Therefore, I think the bill should be retitled the "Glenn Reynolds Cyberbullying Prevention Act."

If we could save just one law professor....

UPDATE: I inadvertently called Linda Sanchez Linda Chavez. Error corrected.

posted by Eric on 05.08.09 at 11:18 AM


Correction: Ms. LINDA T. SANCHEZ is the Democratic Representative from California who is sponsoring the bill. Follow the bill link. This Linda Chavez is not in Congress. Nor is Linda Chavez-Thompson in Congress.

This is most likely one of those poorly thought out "there oughta be a law" response to some tragedy. In this case, most likely the adult female who faked being a teen-age boy, with nasty dialogue, which resulted in a teenaged girl committing suicide.

“If we only had a law, things would be better.” This is the mantra of too many Liberal Democrats and not a few Conservative Republicans. Unfortunately, the solution is often worse than the problem.

I can see such a law being selectively enforced, with left-wingers given a free pass. Sorta like flag paraphernalia and hippies, back in the day.

Gringo   ·  May 8, 2009 11:30 PM

My error in calling Sanchez Chavez. Thanks for pointing it out and for alerting me again!

Eric Scheie   ·  May 12, 2009 10:17 AM

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