"Pretty Clearly Unconstitutional"—Kentucky Man Acccused In Capitol Protest Can’t Post About It Or The US Government Online
01/24/2021
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Earlier: US Capitol Protest: Ruling Class Tantrum Shows Americans We Must All Hang Together

A Kentucky man named Damon Michael Beckley (thus an actual Kentucky man, for once) alleged to have participated in the Capitol protests has some stringent bail conditions:

A Kentucky man accused of participating in the riot at the U.S. Capitol can’t post about it or the U.S. government online.

Damon Michael Beckley, who was arrested by the FBI in Cub Run last week, was released on a conditional bond, which barred him from using the internet to post about the rally or “the matters related to the U.S. government,” according to court records. He was also prohibited from attending any rallies, protests or demonstrations.

The order presumably bans Beckley from criticizing or threatening the government online.

The judge ordered him to not enter any state or federal property “except for court or vehicular registration purposes,” according to court records. The order was signed by Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl and filed on Wednesday

[ Federal judge restricts internet use for Kentucky man charged in U.S. Capitol riot,  by Jeremy Chisenhall,  Lexington Herald Leader,  January 22, 2021

Law professor and First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh calls this pretty clearly unconstitutional:

The restriction on all speech about the riot, or criticisms of the federal government (even if read as limited to criticisms related to the substance of the riot) strikes me as pretty clearly unconstitutional, even given the extra authority the government has as to pretrial release conditions. This is especially so because it does not "operate[] in a content-neutral fashion" and does "restrict political … discourse" of a certain sort through any "means," and not just one narrow technology.

The protest attendance restrictions also seem to be unconstitutional, unless there's specific evidence that Beckley is likely to engage in trespass, vandalism, or violence at future protests.

[Pretrial Release Condition: Can't Speak About "the [Capitol] Protest or the Matters Related to the United States Government" And can't "participate in any protests, rallies or demonstrations." by Eugene Volokh, Volokh Conspiracy, January 24, 2021]

Where were judges and prosecutors like this when BLM was burning and looting across the length and breadth of the United States?

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