Recently, I wrote a post on Garrido v. Krasnansky, where a Vermont family court judge ordered the husband in a divorce case to take down his blog postings about the marriage. Unsurprisingly, I was skeptical that the order was constitutionally permissible. Shortly thereafter, I received a letter from Susan Ellwood, Ms. Garrido’s attorney, disputing part of the post and asking me to edit that part. I declined.
Now, Ms. Ellwood has written to my dean, Frank Wu, at Wayne State, to request his assistance in having me take down the part to which she objects. (Practically speaking, it’s not clear how this would work; a proposal to cane recalcitrant faculty was narrowly voted down last fall.) Dean Wu has been strongly supportive on this issue and vigilantly defends academic freedom; the idea that he would pressure a colleague into self-censorship is risible. (And, of course, he understands the blogosphere as a prolific poster himself.)
To be clear: I believe strongly in debate, disagreement, and transparency. Ms. Ellwood’s assertion that my “statements on [the] blog are inappropriate and quite possibly defamatory” is pretty clearly meritless, but I’m posting her letter so you can judge for yourself. That’s the point of blogging, and the conversation it creates. So, the post stays up, unedited, and I’ll put up any further correspondence to me, the Dean, my landlord, etc.
And of course I lack “general common sense”: I’m a life-long Red Sox fan!
If anyone has a copy of the complete filings in the case, I’d be interested to read them…
Update: [moved case analysis to new post above, 26 January 2008]