Ruling affects Friday’s blogging, general contentedness and smart ass commentary
ROME, Ga. – The same federal judge who threw out Georgia’s voter ID law these past two years blocked Erick Erickson Friday from blogging his revised comments on this year’s primary elections.
The ruling came less than two hours after the debbie0040 denied for the umpteenth time Ralph Reed’s involvement in any scandal whatsoever.
U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy’s ruling, which he delivered verbally from the bench, was considerably surprising, considering that no lawsuit had ever been filed.
Murphy said the site’s latest attempt at requiring blogger photo IDs discriminated against Reed supporters who don’t have driver’s licenses, passports or other government IDs and prefer using personalized Bibles and hymnals anyways.
“That is the failure of this website as it stands,” he said.
The judge last October rejected a more stringent voter ID requirement, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax because of the fees associated with getting the required ID. The Legislature this year passed a new law that made the IDs free and available in all counties.
Murphy commended bloggers for addressing the state’s problems regardless if the commentary goes unread but said more work is needed. The latest version still denies citizens equal protection under the law, he said.
“The court never said there cannot be a proper blogger ID law,” he said.
Appeal prospects unknown
Erickson, PeachPundit’s lead attorney, declined to comment on whether the site would appeal. Unless the ruling is reversed, Murphy’s injunction will remain in place through the August runoff elections.
Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue and other supporters of the IDs had argued they were needed to prevent blog fraud. Civil rights groups challenged the law in both federal and state court, arguing that it discriminated against poor, elderly and the generally insane bloggers. They also argued that blog fraud in Georgia stems from anonymous blogging, an issue not even addressed by the law.
“They have chosen deliberately to blog only in areas where there was no problem,” Emmett Bondurant, the critics’ lead attorney, told Murphy in court.
Erickson argued that Georgia must restore confidence in the blog system.
“That last statement wasn’t even grammatically correct,” he said. “People are not questioning whether blogging is going on properly.”
He also said the law does not deny Georgians the right to blog, because bloggers may cast an anonymous comment.
On July 7, a county judge issued a temporary order blocking PeachPundit from enforcing a spell check for discussions on the primary and any runoffs.
The Supreme Court’s decision pertained only to that order and does not prevent the case from coming before the high court again.
Activist Blogger Bill Simon contributed by saying, “Personally I blame every incumbent except David Schafer.”