Skip to main content

While, as of late, Roger Shuler has been invited to pursue other venues for his writing, some here might remember some of his more popular and/or commented-on diaries, such as:

Did Judge in Alabama Immigration-Law Case Benefit from Organized Crime?
CEO Threatens A Lawsuit Against Progressive Blogger or
Coverup in the Siegelman Case Now Extends to the U.S. Senate.

When around here, Mr. Shuler always exemplified a dogged determination, even in the face of opposition -- a trait which, it seems, has caused an Alabama judge to throw him in jail on the evening of October 23rd, perhaps in violation of the First Amendment.

Mind the discarded Cheeto.

As ThinkProgress reported yesterday:

Roger Shuler, a former local newspaper reporter, writes a blog about Alabama politics, Legal Schnauzer. He wrote a series of posts alleging that Robert Riley, Jr., son of former Alabama governor Bob Riley and a lawyer rumored to be running for Congress, had an affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke.

Riley sued Shuler and his wife, Carol Shuler, last year for alleged defamation. The court issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary and injunction that prohibited Shuler from writing anything about Riley’s alleged extramarital affair, allegations that he had a child out of wedlock, and other related stories, according to documents posted online. When Shuler continued to write about Riley’s alleged affair, police pursued him during a traffic stop and arrested him for contempt.

There are plenty of folks around here better able to address the inappropriateness of Shuler's arrest, but I can say there are stated opinions, even among those not generally supporting of his efforts that:
 The First Amendment protects everyone — even creepy, crazy vexatious litigants. You should demand that the First Amendment protect people like that, because if it doesn't, it won't protect you when you need it.
Via ThinkProgress
According to the latest reports on Shuler, he remains in jail.
UPDATE
The pivotal First Amendment issue, here, has raised the question in the Comments as to whether there is any justification for Shuler to have ignored a potentially unconstitutional court order and, furthermore, did he get what he deserved in flaunting it.

I'm not crystal clear on the concept of "Prior Restraint," that government cannot act to prevent speech from occurring even if that speech, once made, would be sanction-able, but commentary surrounding this court order suggests that it runs counter to precedent.

Even given the possibility that Shuler left himself vulnerable by neglecting the legal steps needed to vacate the court order, at this point I couldn't suppose why he doesn't now take those steps, especially considering that his wife is reportedly

barricaded in their home in Birmingham. She worried about her own safety from deputies seeking to arrest her also on contempt of court charges.

"Roger's afraid he could be in there for months," Carol Shuler, right, told me by phone early Friday. "Meanwhile, I'm stuck in the house with no food, money or Internet. It's one thing if your husband is arrested. But another thing entirely if they're after you. I can't go anywhere."

Originally posted to A Murphonic Convergence on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:05 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site