There are times when others can capture another’s feelings, beliefs, and even thoughts better than they can. It happens with me sometimes, although I generally feel I do a knock-out job of communicating my opinions. Still, I came across an online article a few months ago that expressed a belief of mine better than I could.
“One thing that the public just doesn’t understand about lawyers is that their job sometimes involves fighting for the most despicable people imaginable, because those despicable people have legal objectives they have a right to pursue as citizens, and because the principles underlying the fight are important, even if the particular clients—and often their objectives too–are blights on humanity.” [Source: http://ethicsalarms.com/]
Please keep in mind that I am writing specifically about a restraining order motion filed by Austin Vantrease (and apparently supported by the others involved in the civil suit). In no way am I linking this to the upcoming civil trial. Please be clear about that. This is only about the restraining order.Anyhow, I kept this passage (above) in mind throughout what I perceived was a challenge to my First Amendment rights. Precisely, I felt a motion before the court — a restraining order on me related to my online posts— was abridging my freedom of speech. So, I took it on as both a personal and public concern and fought it. In the end receiving a favorable outcome, although I was cautioned that my right to exercise free speech might come at a cost. I take this extremely seriously, respecting the court’s opinion, and will defer my characterizations until after the civil trial. If nothing else, I’m a patient man and really don’t mind waiting.
My objective was just one thing; to protect my freedom of speech. I’ll not comment too much on the opposition’s possible goals, other than to believe they felt as strongly as I about their position. Rightly so, they want to receive a fair trial. I, perhaps more than (as least as much as) anyone wants and expects the same. This, everyone should surely agree.
An article, Judge Won’t Recommend Restraining Order in Diviney Case (Dominion Post, Brubaker), ran in the Morgantown, WV newspaper yesterday that reported on the outcome. To me, it missed the gist, focusing almost entirely the Vantrease claim. I was greatly disappointed that it didn’t speak to the decision being based upon upholding the first amendment or go deeper into my position. A few people actually asked me what the article means and I certainly see why there’s confusion. It feels like it was rushed to press. I wonder, did anyone else feel the same?
To summarize as I understand it, a motion for a restraining order (on my online posting) was presented and argued before the court. The court recommended denial of the order, citing failure of proof and the right to free speech transcending all other claims. After fourteen days, absent any objections, it will be final when the Federal Judge enters it into judgement. Before this time period, it’s technically still open.