Don't Harass My Authority
Who says liberals and conservatives can't find common ground?
The lawsuit was filed by the liberal blog Plunderbund, the Portage County Tea Party. Also included as plaintiffs are John Spinelli, who frequently writes for Plunderbund, and Tom Zawistowski, head of the Portage County Tea Party.If you can't stand the online heat, stay out of the kitchen...
The plaintiffs claim the law's language is overly broad and prohibits critical speech of public officials. Both groups publish opinions critical of public officials and their court filings say they are not covered under an exception in Ohio law provided for media outlets.
The groups are asking a judge to block the law while the case is pending and to ultimately find the law unconstitutional.
It acknowledges that the groups sometimes put "invective, ridicule and strong language intended to mock, lampoon or call into question the actions, motives and public policy positions of various figures" in its articles. However, that speech is protected and should not be subject to criminal sanctions, the suit says.
"In sum, the Plaintiffs engage in core political expression of a sort squarely within the heartland of what the First Amendment protects, and yet legitimately fear prosecution under the statute based upon the provocative and critical nature of what they publish," the groups state in a filing asking for a preliminary injunction.