Thursday, January 10, 2008

Divorce Court v. Free Speech

Today's New York Times has an interesting article about an uncertain intersection of the law. It involves a nasty divorce that's gained lots of notoriety:

The husband, William Krasnansky, posted what he calls a fictionalized account of the marriage on his blog late last year. His wife, Maria Garrido, complained to the judge overseeing their divorce, who ordered Mr. Krasnansky to take down 'any and all Internet postings' about his wife and their marriage pending a hearing next month.
Note that, in spite of the judge's order, the blog is still active. The kind of blanket prohibition that the family judge in this case has (unsuccessfully, it appears) imposed would generally raise serious First Amendment questions in other context. Are divorces different? Eugene Volokh over at The Conspiracy has written a lot about the intersection of the religion clauses of the First Amendment on divorce cases (custody decisions, primarily), but I don't remember the speech clause getting quite so much attention. If kids aren't involved, shouldn't hurt feelings or false pronouncements be dealt with in garden variety tort actions?

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