Brett Kimberlin’s complaint doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it’s part of a history of abusing the court system to silence critics. It’s also likely a maneuver to use the courts to conduct abusive discovery against other critics he hasn’t sued. Such things work because lawyers are hideously expensive and litigation, even utterly bogus litigation, is exhausting and terrifying and repulsive. If people are allowed to use the courts this way, nobody’s speech is safe.
I hear this over and over again: Somebody is “abusing” the court system. It’s bullshit.
In fact, these tactics work because they aren’t abusing the system. They are simply using the capabilities of the legal system as they exist.
Laws are the sinews of Leviathan. I’ve made this point before. Tyrannies don’t exist in a vacuum. They are established and maintained by laws which are created and then enforced by the agencies of tyranny.
Our legal system is deeply corrupt. It has become a morass created by two hundred years of corrupt legislation, corrupt legal decisions, and corrupt precedents. It is now a swamp in which every single American is guilty of at least one, and usually more, felonies a day. It is no longer a tool for the maintenance of civil society, but a weapon ready to the hand of any thug willing and able to use it. Many of these thugs are formal, credentialed lawyers. Some, like Brett Kimberlin, are not. But the system is the system, and if you are able to use it, as Kimberlin apparently is, then it makes an excellent club with which to destroy your enemies.
We live today in a tyranny established by a tyrannical legal system. Neither sanity nor justice have anything to do with the legal system that enslaves us today. Brett Kimberlin is a deeply corrupt man exploiting the possibilities of a deeply corrupt system, no more, no less. The law, as Dickens once noted, may be “an ass,” but it is a vicious and effective ass, especially when ridden by evil men.
Now, as to the defendants. A commenter at Popehat mirrored my feelings perfectly:
And for those asserting that this is a conservative/liberal issue: I volunteered through three Obama campaigns and often find McCain’s views to be loathsome, particularly on the revenge porn front. I’m as interested in protecting the speech of those I agree with as those I don’t.
I find Stacy McCain’s obsessive anti-gay bigotry utterly loathsome and reprehensible. But I’m with the statement attributed to Voltaire:
In her biography on Voltaire, Hall wrote the phrase: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (which is often misattributed to Voltaire himself) as an illustration of Voltaire’s beliefs.[
I won’t link Stacy’s bigoted posts, but I will support his right to publish them. And you should, too. Because it isn’t just his rights at stake. They are our rights, too. And as Ben Franklin noted, “We must all hang together, or we shall most assuredly hang separately.”