Brickbat: Mandating Censorship


The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that a judge did not exceed his authority when he sentenced a man convicted of contempt of court for recording a court proceeding to write an essay on respect for the court, post it online and delete any negative comments. Judge Christopher Brook dissented from the ruling, saying the judge had a right to prevent court proceedings from being recorded and to find the man guilty of contempt for violating that order. But he said the sentence raised free speech concerns. "The probation condition imposed by the trial court requiring defendant to write and publish an essay about respect for the courtroom on his social media and internet accounts and to delete any negative comments made by third-parties on this essay bears no reasonable relationship to defendant's rehabilitation or to his crime and raises serious First Amendment concerns," Brook wrote.