April 8, 2010

Next, teachers on the sex offender registry

Some very pointed commentary here.

It's one thing to dutifully publicize an alleged conflict between two statutes, quite another to threaten a criminal investigation and potential charges against (literally) law-abiding school teachers.

Talk about chilling speech and indeed, a textbook exercise in government prior restraint of protected speech. And so it was amusing yesterday to see some of the local nut-right Tea constitutionalists actually applauding this DA's memorandum.

Southworth previously railed against "the woolly-legged amazons at the [UW] Campus Women's Center," as Dahlia Lithwick explained.


RobH said...

I view it more as extortion, with the good DA using his office to threaten criminal prosecution to force others to omit to do a lawful act (i.e., provide accurate information to students) and instead comply with his view of good policy. That letter quite simply violates Wis. Stat. s. 943.30(a):

(1) Whoever, either verbally or by any written or printed communication, maliciously threatens to accuse or accuses another of any crime or offense, or threatens or commits any injury to the person, property, business, profession, calling or trade, or the profits and income of any business, profession, calling or trade of another, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened to do any act against the person's will or omit to do any lawful act, is guilty of a Class H felony.

The purpose is not merely the DA's PR or political gain, but to prevent schools from doing the right thing due to the threats of prosecution. The DA doesn't want to prosecute; he wants to nullify the purposes of the statute by getting the schools to drop sex ed for fear of prosecution.

illusory tenant said...

Got all the elements, I reckon.

John Foust said...

And if you know UW-Madison, the newspaper with the "communist board of directors" might be the Daily Cardinal.