• BREAKING: Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs in 1st Amendment Lawsuit Challenging Government Takedown of Political Speech Protesting New Gun Control Laws



    SACRAMENTO, CA and FRESNO, CA (February 27, 2017) — Earlier today Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, issued an order granting plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in a First Amendment civil rights lawsuit challenging a California statute that broadly restricts the Internet publication of the home address or telephone number of any “elected or appointed official.” The case, captioned Doe Publius and Derek Hoskins v. California Legislative Counsel Diane Boyer-Vine, is supported by civil rights advocacy organization Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).

    “We are delighted that Judge O’Neill saw the statute and the State’s enforcement of it for exactly what it was: an unconstitutional restriction on free speech,” said FPC President Brandon Combs following the ruling. Combs added, “especially in times where some government officials are working to pass legislation that would criminalize law-abiding gun owners and eliminate Second Amendment rights, the First Amendment’s protection of law-abiding gun owners’ political speech and protest is more important than ever.”

    Today’s order states, in relevant part, that “the Court finds that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claims that § 6254.21(c) violates the First Amendment as applied to them, and also violates the dormant Commerce Clause as applied to Hoskins. The Court further finds that the remaining preliminary injunction factors weigh in Plaintiffs’ favor. The Court therefore preliminarily RESTRAINS AND ENJOINS Defendant from applying or enforcing § 6254.21(c) against Plaintiffs.”

    Plaintiff Doe Publius, who filed under a pseudonym due to a fear of government retaliation and the potential for criminal prosecution under the challenged law, runs a political blog under the alias “The Real Write Wringer” and writes about California politics, civil liberties, and the Second Amendment. Publius (through their Web host, WordPress.com) was sent a takedown letter from the California Legislative Counsel threatening litigation if they didn’t remove a “tyrant registry,” which was posted after Governor Jerry Brown signed six new gun control bills into law on July 1.

    Another plaintiff, Derek Hoskins, is the owner of northeastshooters.com, an online forum for discussing firearms issues and shooting sports activities, news, and politics. In addition to his First Amendment claim, he challenged the State’s enforcement of the law under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause as well as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230). The Legislative Counsel issued a takedown demand to Hoskins based on a discussion thread about the controversy over the takedown demand sent to Publius.

    A copy of the Court’s order and relevant case documents can be viewed or downloaded at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/publius_v_boyer_vine.

    Read full story here: https://www.firearmspolicy.org/court...n_control_laws
    Comments 66 Comments
    1. amm5061's Avatar
      amm5061 -
      Wooohoooooo! Take that Commiefornia!
    1. Maddawg1952's Avatar
      Maddawg1952 -
      Thanks for posting, and congrats on the ruling.
    1. W.E.C's Avatar
      W.E.C -
      Winning an uphill battle.

      in 1980 i sent away for a parchment copy of the bill of rights, free from RJR tobaccco co.

      and it is framed and hanging on my wall ever since.

      i didn't know that such a sustained attack on that document would be coming , but here it is.
    1. TLB's Avatar
      TLB -
      That's great!
    1. strangenh's Avatar
      strangenh -
      The Legislative Counsel issued a takedown demand to Hoskins based on a discussion thread about the controversy over the takedown demand sent to Publius.
      You have got to be ******* kidding me. Talk about state power overreach! And that pesky 1st Amendment - I mean, the overlords wouldn't want anyone talking about politics, am I right?
    1. Len-2A Training's Avatar
      Len-2A Training -
      Quote Originally Posted by strangenh View Post
      You have got to be ******* kidding me. Talk about state power overreach! And that pesky 1st Amendment - I mean, the overlords wouldn't want anyone talking about politics, am I right?
      It's a cancer! Healy is doing the same thing and getting away with it.

      Congrats to Derek for standing up and winning.
    1. mu2bdriver's Avatar
      mu2bdriver -
      x2 on the congrats to Derek.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1. whalerman69's Avatar
      whalerman69 -
      Nice!
    1. Jason Flare's Avatar
      Jason Flare -
      I read, (actually mostly skimmed through,) all 38 pages of the decision last night. It's amazing the cases involved/referred to and the mental gymnastics.
    1. PreliatorX's Avatar
      PreliatorX -
      Awesome! Congrats Derek!
    1. ProGun's Avatar
      ProGun -
      Congrats! Nice win!
    1. icyclefar's Avatar
      icyclefar -
      Well done!
    1. ldi's Avatar
      ldi -
      Excellent !
      Congrats In the uphill battle win Derek - you turned the tide and gave hope to many !
    1. Rob Boudrie's Avatar
      Rob Boudrie -
      I assume the list of home addresses will be immediately re-published, hopefully with a sticky.
    1. wahsben's Avatar
      wahsben -
      Great news!
    1. jtnf's Avatar
      jtnf -
      Can't find the thread...
      Wasn't there JUST a thread on abuses by a Sheriff's department, where CPL holders were turned over to KABC or something but special people who may be CPL holders weren't (court officers, judges, LEOs, etc?) I thought that was in California.
    1. teaser452's Avatar
      teaser452 -
      And this is why I'm green. Well done!
    1. strangenh's Avatar
      strangenh -
      And EUGENE VOLOKH on the brief. Right on.
    1. BBQ.Uncle's Avatar
      BBQ.Uncle -
      Congratulations & well done!
    1. radioman's Avatar
      radioman -
      I read the article but I guess I'm a little thick. Can someone put this in layman's terms for me.
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