Category: First Amendment

  • Never Argue Angry

    I’ve got a case against a likely-soon-to-be-former member of the Smith County, Texas District Attorney’s Office in which I’m challenging the constitutionality of Texas’s revenge-porn statute, section 21.16(b) of the Texas Penal Code. It is one of several such appeals I have pending. I’ve had oral argument in the Waco Court of Appeals (not recorded) […]

  • Revenge-Porn Oral Argument

    The First Court of Appeals in Houston will be hearing oral argument February 13th in the case of State v. Mora. This is the State’s appeal from a trial court judgment holding section 21.16(b) of the Texas Penal Code (Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material) unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The State’s scattered […]

  • Sterner Days for Texas Free-Speech Law

    Situation excellent: On Wednesday the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the Beaumont Court of Appeals in Leax v. State. When the Court of Criminal Appeals granted discretionary review on Leax, I thought it would be the culmination of almost four years of fighting that began with this post after I realized that section 33.021 of the […]

  • Meet the ACLU’s Free-Speech Trojan Horse [updated]

    “I’m what you’d call a true believer in the First Amendment,” Rowland announced. “It’s foundational. I’ve criticized the staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project before for giving up the First Amendment struggle too easily. So when I saw that she claims to be a true believer, ((You are the inheritor of a […]

  • Two Legislators, One Cup.

    Bryan, Texas criminal-defense lawyer Stephen Gustitis (The Defense Perspective) is representing a guy charged with harassment for making an “obscene” comment in a written communication (artist’s depiction follows):

  • Texas Online Solicitation of a Minor Statute Overbroad

    A person who is 17 years of age or older commits an offense if, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the person, over the Internet or by electronic mail or a commercial online service, intentionally communicates in a sexually explicit manner with an individual who represents himself or […]

  • No More Sources For You! [Updated]

    Seeking a scoop, rookie reporter Jennifer Latson from the Houston Chronicle went and tried to interview to a person accused of a serious felony without the person’s lawyer’s permission. If the accused had said something incriminatory, it would have been front-page news in the Chronicle the next morning: the reporter would have been able to […]

  • Why We Must Keep the Church Out of Government

    In my first Blog Against Theocracy 2008 post I discussed why little-r-religion — people’s religious beliefs, as opposed to big-R-Religion (the Church) — is inevitably a part of criminal justice policy. Most churches have something to recommend them: they provide guidelines for how humans should behave in relation to each other. Don’t murder, don’t steal, […]