Parental Rights

Mother's Contact with Child Restricted Because She's Unvaccinated

|

From the Chicago Sun-Times (Bob Chiarito):

In what many say is the first ruling of its kind, a divorced Pilsen mother has had her child visitation revoked by a Cook County judge because she is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Aug. 10, Cook County Judge James Shapiro barred Rebecca Firlit, the mother of an 11-year-old boy, from seeing her son…..

Firlit's attorney, Annette Fernholz, … said the issue was not raised by her ex-husband.

Rather, the judge asked Firlit if she was vaccinated during a child support hearing via Zoom, and when she said no, the judge stripped her of all parenting time with her son until she gets vaccinated.

"I've had adverse reactions to vaccines in the past and was advised not to get vaccinated by my doctor. It poses a risk," Ferlit told the Chicago Sun-Times….

For now, she is relegated to only speaking with her son on the phone….

In principle, I can imagine situations where an unvaccinated parent could be barred from being around a child. Generally speaking, such changes in custody rules require a substantial change of circumstance, in a way that substantially affects the "best interests of the child." Serious threats to the child's health could qualify, for instance if the parent was actually ill and contagious, or if the parent was at imminent risk of acquiring and transmitting, say, smallpox or some such extraordinarily deadly disease. Parental rights can indeed be limited in various ways, and for good reason. Many of our rights are rights to control our minds and our bodies; parental rights are rights to control someone else.

But it appears that over the last year and a half, there have been 131 deaths of 5-to-14-year-olds that the CDC classifies as U.S. "COVID-19 deaths," out of over 41 million children in that age band. That's an annual death rate of about 2 per million (compared to 37 per million for accidents, or 3 per million for the flu); and while this doesn't count other effects of the illness, which can be quite serious for many, my understanding is that for children such serious effects are likewise very rare. (None of the news stories I've seen suggest that the child has some medical condition that makes him especially vulnerable to COVID, though of course one should be hesitant when dealing with media accounts.)

What's more, the question isn't whether the child is to be vaccinated (as I understand it, he still can't be, because the vaccine hasn't been authorized for under-12-year-olds); that would at least quite directly affect his vulnerability. Rather, the question is just whether he should be exposed to the unvaccinated mother, who is one theoretical possible source of infection for him—he would of course still be exposed to lots of other unvaccinated people, including many unvaccinated classmates. So the overall possible effect on his health from exposure to the mother is even tinier than the numbers in the preceding paragraph suggest.

It seems to me that it should be well within a parent's discretion to expose a child to what appear to be such extremely minor risks (whether a parent who shares custody with an ex, or a parent in an intact family). And that's especially so when there's a good reason for it, such as the mother's health (at least according to the mother's account).

But there's also a deeper problem here, again if the media accounts are correct: The Due Process Clause generally requires that, before someone's rights are taken away, that person is given notice and an opportunity to be heard—and it appears that the judge just came up with this, without Firlit having sufficient notice. If she had such notice, she might have been able to produce more evidence about the doctor's advice not to get vaccinated, or about the minimal risk to her son stemming from her being unvaccinated, or about whatever other factual or legal arguments might be relevant to the decision. And while in an emergency, the government can often act before a hearing, the low risk to the child in this case seems to suggest there was no such emergency.

In any event, though, I stress again that this is my tentative analysis based on press accounts. Firlit is apparently appealing, so perhaps the appellate court will give us more  factual and procedural details.

NEXT: No Gag Order in Lawsuit Against Church Alleging Child Sexual Abuse Coverup

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. If covid is such a gigantic threat then what are the public schools doing opening back up in the first place? I guess the virus is sentient and selectively won’t mess with the public schools in addition to the BLM riots and whatever else progressives like.

    1. Prof. Volokh makes a good point.
      The mother should not be allowed to see the child while she has a driver’s license. It makes almost 20 times more dangeros than not being vaccinated.

    2. To be frank, the schools REALLY need to be open. I don’t know about y’all, but the STARR tests in Texas showed a stark drop in scores school, district, and statewide compared to last year. The only real explanation I have is the remote learning last year.

  2. Uggg. While I am support making life hard for those who choose to remain a spreader of covid, this takes it too far for me.

    1. I am just surprised it took this long before a Judge went this far

    2. “While I am support making life hard for those who choose to remain a spreader of covid,”

      So…should we institute a $1000 fine for those who engage in air travel? For each violation? That would make life hard for them.

      1. Taking them to “chambers” that use “gas” to “take care of them” would make it REALLY hard for them.

    3. She didn’t even choose anything. She’s had bad reactions to vaccines in the past and her doctor advised her not to get this one

      1. Maybe. If she had a bad adverse reaction to egg based vaccines, then the covid vaccine would be just fine for them. And we also know that many people say “my doctor advised” when they really meant “I saw on Facebook”. So details matter.

  3. Your tentative reasoning matches mine. Absent the kid having some serious risk condition, such as being immune suppressed, the risk from an unvaccinated mother is trivial, less that many other risks we’d never blink at.

    The judge is either consumed by the moral panic, or virtue signaling. Or, I suppose, simply medically ignorant. But, in any case, why didn’t the mother get any opportunity to respond?

    1. “why didn’t the mother get any opportunity to respond?”
      Tyrants seldom offer that right.

    2. It’s virtue signaling, combined with reinforced group think.

      Consider. The risk of getting COVID while vaccinated, but working in the ER as a nurse. Compare that to the risk of getting COVID while not vaccinated, but working from home and not travelling. One might consider those risks approximately equivalent.

      Then, imagine the outcry if the judge said “Well, you work in the ER with COVID patients, so we’re going to take your children away, due to the risks you may get COVID and transmit it to your child”.

      1. due to the risks you may get COVID and transmit it to your child

        This assumes that the child getting Covid is a bad thing. It might be a good thing.

        The recent Israeli study which indicates that natural immunity (from having had Covid) may be a lot stronger than vaccine induced immunity, plus the fact that the risk of serious harm coming to a child from catching Covid is, to the nearest decimal point, zero – unless the child is already in poor health – might imply that, Covid-wise, getting Covid at age 5-14 is the best way of minimising your chances of getting seriously ill or dead from Covid over your lifespan.

        Depends on the arithmetic, and facts we haven’t nailed down yet, but assuming that a healthy child getting Covid now is a bad thing, is definitely not something that has been demonstrated.

        1. Generally speaking, getting COVID is a bad thing. Even with minimal risk. The only “benefit” to getting COVID is…not getting COVID in the future.

          1. Developing immunity is a very good thing and in the long term, by far the best solution.

            Intentionally preventing the development of the human immune system is far worse. Basically advocating that the human population evolves to where humans can only survive in sterile environments.

            1. Depends on the nature of the immunity, the length of the immunity, the cost/risk associated with getting the immunity, and the risk of getting it later. And that varies by disease, quite a lot.

              On the pro-side, getting chicken pox earlier has a very long (decades) long immunity, with relatively low (but not zero) risk. The risk associated with having the disease later in life is quite a lot higher.

              On the anti-side is something like the flu. Immunity to the flu lasts a minimal amount of time (due to rapid mutation). Being intentionally exposed to it doesn’t really help you next year, or the year after. The length of immunity is not sufficient to justify the cost of getting the immunity (via direct infection).

              Alternatively on the anti-side is obtaining immunity to Ebola due to natural infection. The risks there are VERY high, and don’t justify the potential benefit later in life.

              As for COVID, it’s unclear if there’s a long term benefit.

              1. The spanish flu provides a good example –
                Flu viruses kill ratio (if we what to use that term) skews very heavily to the elderly. The 1918 spanish flu was the exception. The death rate for those over age 55 was much lower than for other flu pandemics. The reason was there was a flu pandemic in 1873/1875 that gave significant level of immunity to those over age 55 when the 1918 flu showed up.

                1. Unfortunately, that’s not quite accurate. Wikipedia gives a good graph of the death rate for the Spanish Flu versus that of the flu from 1911-1917.

                  Typically, the flu hits the very young (babies) and very old pretty hard, while the young adults are better off. A “U” shaped curve.

                  The Spanish Flu had a “W” curve, where it still hit the old and very young pretty hard, but also a substantial chunk of people in their 20’s. But you observe, it STILL hit the old just as hard as the normal flu.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu#/media/File:W_curve.png

              2. On your chicken pox example, I have a counterpoint: Shingles
                Some diseases have long term side effects even years in the future, and you picked one of the worst. If you’ve ever gotten chickenpox, you might get a Shingles attack in your old age, which is devastating and sometimes deadly.

                1. That’s a good point. Shingles is basically a residual chicken pox virus coming out to play again. And it sucks. Vaccination (of Chicken pox) is better here, because it prevents shingles from being a possibility.

                  But from everything I’ve read, getting chicken pox itself for the first time as an adult really sucks. And if vaccination wasn’t available. it was better to get it young.

          2. Sure. An insurance premium is always money out.

  4. This decision is a gross violation of common decency and of the judges prerogative under the law as it is completely arbitrary with satisfying any state interest.

    1. And I say that as a strong advocate of vaccination.

    2. There is no state interest in family matters. There is no decency in family matters. The judges hold all the power over the kids, end of story. There is no law to apply.

  5. I would happily agree to support the appeal. This is a terrible decision.

    1. Support an appeal on claim of ‘abuse of judicial discretion’….the appellate courts do not review discretionary orders of the trial court. The judge thinks it is in the best interest of the kid for mom to be vaccinated, there is nothing to appeal. Public policy is to get vaccinated. There is no relief in the appellate court, there is no relief in the federal court. Judge knew exactly what he was doing.

  6. I suspect that there are a lot of facts in this case which are not favorable to the mom . The Covid vaccine seems likely to be a minor factor that tipped the scales.

    That being said, the possibility that the judge is went off the rails.

    Is there any indication that there was a custody dispute?
    Is there any indication that the judge raised the covid vaccine in other divorce cases.

    Does Illinois have separate family courts? I would think that it is doubtful that a regular family court judge was this far off the rails.

    1. Joe_dallas; If it were just a matter of who gets primary residential custody and who gets visitation, then one could certainly see this as being one factor that tips the scales (though even that might be wrong, I think).

      But it’s very rare to bar parents from any physical contact with their children (as opposed to giving them, say, two days a week of custody as opposed to three and a half); it usually requires some very serious misconduct on the parents’ part. That’s what makes it credible that the judge’s decision was indeed based on the mother’s decision not to get vaccinated.

      1. Eugene – I have been involved in several divorce cases (expert witness as valuation of assets/tracing assets/separate property v community property in Texas) along with former employee who lost custody of children with no visitation for 6 months and limited supervised visitation for 12 – 15 months.

        That being said, if there no custody issues in this case, I agree that the judge was completely off the rails.

        I would just prefer to have more facts before I jump to conclusions.

        Update on my comments
        I did just look at his bio on ballotpedia- he has been a judge in civil /criminal court since 2007. Appears that Illinois /cook county doesnt have separate family courts, so this judge probably has not had many family court cases.
        If the facts are as noted, I doubt that a regular family court judge would make such an egregous mistake.

        Based on the limited facts I have been able to gather, I have to agree with E volokh that the judge is off the rails.

        1. I was wondering if the kids have an immune disorder or some other condition that would make them unusually vulnerable. Otherwise, this seems like overreach.

      2. The professor opines beyond his limits of competence.

        Under the American system, Judge Shapiro can give the kid to a third party, if he feels it is in best interest. Once a child is caught up in the court system, the state is the singular owner. Power of parens patriae is wielded from the bench. There is no law to argue. Kids are trafficked thru the court on the discretion of the judge. In the eyes of the state mom needs the jab, it is son’s best interest standard … simple. Argue and whine all you want, this is exactly the power of the court over children and their parents.

        The incompetence Eugene and his followers is shocking.

        1. Incompetence is too strong a word. Naivete might be appropriate. Especially when Professor Volokh brings up “due process” in a family-court type proceeding. In those case, over the entrance to the chambers is the banner: “Abandon All Constitutional Rights, All Ye Who Enter Here.”.

          1. The professor is clueless when it comes to the operation of courts in custody/visitation matters. Constitution does not apply as parens patriae powers are reserved for the states. It is child trafficking outside of constitutional protections, just what the jews want for the goy.

  7. What the hell does the judge care, it’s not his kid.

    This is why we should be wary of letting bureaucrats make decisions that are better left to parents. The bureaucrats have no incentive to make the right decision.

  8. Question: Did the court preclude her from seeing her son or simply strip her of her *right* to see her son? If the dad allowed the mom to see the son while the son was in his custody, would that violate the order?

    1. I have seen in divorce cases, where there is not a high level of hate, that there is quite a bit of informal modifications/adaptations with the separated parents not necessarily to circumvent the custody, but to make it work for both parties.

      1. this is just trafficking the little boy. wake up.

  9. The great professor fails to see the reality of the ‘family court’. Judge James Shapiro is a JEW, the purposeof jews in family court is to destroy parent child bonds and protect child predators. COVID Vaxx was a jewish excuse to isolate the boy from his mother, just what jews do to the goy.

    It is obvious that the father and the father’s attorney are in on the scam. Why would any Christian father seek to harm a child by isolation from mom? This case has nothing to do with public health policy, nothing to do with vaccines, this is how the pedophiles of society are protected in family court.

    Why were mom and dad in circuit court for a post judgment child support matter? That is handled by the support magistrates. It was a set up. FSM’s don’t have sua sponte custody/visitation powers. Mom was played. Looks like both lawyers are jews as is the judge and the yet unnamed father has some sinister friends.

    Keep pretending this is about a vaccine.

    1. your comment is devoid of rational thought

      1. Joe Dallas has no clue how the court works when it comes to children.

        1. I have been involved in numerous divorces both with and without custody issues (as expert witness) along with a former employee’s custody issue. So I have a lot more experience in divorce court than most individuals.

          your rant about jews etc indicates a delusional hatred.

          1. Just mute the troll, y’all. He’s not worth responding to, and Reason won’t ban him.

            1. Ben of Houston, a lover of free speech. Hate speech is something Ben hates. Jews designed and built family court, AFCC was created by jews, no fault divorce is a jewish invention, family court protects pedos, trafficks kids…..trolls can see reality, you can’t.

  10. While I believe that those who refuse to do their part in attempting to end this goddamn pandemic are the scourge of society, unless the child was immuno-compromised, this ruling is an embarrassment.

    1. According to the mother she was advised by her doctor not to get the vaccine due to complications she’s had from vaccinations in the past

    2. Patently unreasonable actions like this are just going to harden any opposition to vaccination out of principle and indignation.

  11. We’ve lost our minds – and our ability to conduct proper risk/benefit analyses. We also have libertarian law professors supporting vaccine mandates for a disease with a 0.26% all-age IFR.

    1. And we have people like you who think the only outcome from contracting COVID to be concerned about is death.

      Don’t preach about risk analysis until you’re able to properly identify those risks.

    2. “a disease with a 0.26% all-age IFR”
      Variant that is so wrong its “criminal”
      The IFR in the US due to Delta is at least 2% and may be as much as 2.5% and that is based on a total US population. If you broke it down by >40 yo it would be evene greater

      1. That is, IIRC, the number based on cases, not infections. The CFR, not IFR.

        1. Yep.

          The infection fatality ratio is not the case fatality ratio. The IFR is much lower than the CFR.

          Don should know this, given he claims to do research in the area.

        2. Brett,
          The so called IFR is lower by in indeterminate amount because it multiplies the number of diagnosed cases by an unknowable multiplies estimated at between 2 and 10.
          The Armchair knows this. There is no point in quoting an unmeasurable statistics that i uncertain by as much as an order of magnitude.
          I only compute, use, and quote the CFR.

          1. “Unmeasurable statistics”…

            Tell that to the CDC, which has reported…IFRs. Seriously….

            https://www.cdc.gov/library/covid19/pdf/2020-11-24-Science-Update_FINAL_public.pdf

          2. “There is no point in quoting an unmeasurable statistics”

            If that were true then IFR wouldn’t be a thing, not just for Covid for all illnesses, since its never fully knowable

            1. True Kevin. But people like to quote the unknowable since the claim cannot be verified or falsified.
              More specifically for some illness the number of infections per diagnoses maybe better known in specific instances such as the Diamond Princess infections with the original Wuhan strain. But with new variants such as Delta. the estimates of asymptomatic infection are all suspect until we have routine testing of large samples on a frequent schedule. Hopefully certain employers will be able to provide that very soon as testing once per week is being instituted in many places.
              However ever once per week may be too frequent as we may not be able to distinguish pre-symptomatic cases from asymptomatic cases.
              In order words measuring the actual number of infections is going to subject to large systematic errors.

            2. And thank you for the question

            3. This is generally the issue with Don. He makes a mistake…mistaking the IFR for CFR. Which is fine, mistakes happen.

              But then he doubles down rather than say “Whoops, my bad”. And if you call him on it, he spins and spins, digging deeper.

              The truth is, IFRs are in common usage, not just in COVID but in many other diseases. Total infection rates are estimated, but usually by Seroprevalence (IE, looking at the antibodies present in the community, which will show up long after asymptomatic cases that aren’t included in the actual cases). That tends to be a reasonably good benchmark.

              Here’s a nice review.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947934/

        3. Brett,
          Yes, it was my error to write IFR rather than CFR

          1. The thing is, the IFR is what we’re actually subject to, and what we really ought to care about. If most of the actual infections are asymptomatic, and don’t prompt somebody to get a test, the CFR will be much higher than the IFR, making things look much worse than they actually are.

  12. Is there really any serious supervision over family courts? From what I’ve seen in the news lately, it seems that the judge has complete discretion and little accountability.

    1. Clearly there is nothing to hold this judge in check, at least not in the short run.

    2. True judges in family courts have lots of discretion with little appellate supervision (At least in Texas)

      Can some respond on Cook County Courts, – ie whether there are separate family courts or if the cases are handled in regular civil courts. I get the impression that this judge is not that familiar with Illinois family law. If this was a regular family court judge, I would think this issue has arisen multiple times in other cases.

    3. AtR

      The application of state parens partiae power is applied through the court on the discretion of the judge, there is no ‘law’ when it comes to custody/visitation.

  13. This seems like a good place to share this:
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415v1.full.pdf
    Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections

    SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees had a 13.06-fold (95% CI, 8.08 to 21.11) increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected, when the first event (infection or vaccination) occurred during January and February of 2021. The increased risk was significant (P<0.001) for symptomatic disease as well. When allowing the infection to occur at any time before vaccination (from March 2020 to February 2021), evidence of waning natural immunity was demonstrated, though SARS-CoV-2 naïve vaccinees had a 5.96-fold (95% CI, 4.85 to 7.33) increased risk for breakthrough infection and a 7.13-fold (95% CI, 5.51 to 9.21) increased risk for symptomatic disease. SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees were also at a greater risk for COVID-19-related-hospitalizations compared to those that were previously infected.

    It’s far and away the largest study on this to date, and the design looks solid.

    If the judge didn’t ask if she’d ever had Covid, he’s an abusive religious lunatic, and needs to be impeached

    1. I have read that manuscript Greg. It is truly sobering. As you say, the authors have a very large database and current statistics.

      Also sobering with respect to the decline in vaccine effectiveness is the CDC report “Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Frontline Workers Before and During B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant Predominance — Eight U.S. Locations, December 2020–August 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7034e4.htm?s_cid=mm7034e4_w

      1. I’m not sure we need to get too sober about it. We are making do with the first efforts at vaccines, rushed out asap. There’s no reason to believe they won’t get better.

        1. Do you advocate then, like Israel, requiring a 3rd top up shot for everyone?

          That’s like a Netflix subscriptions service for your body if that’s what’s coming.

        2. “We are making do with the first efforts at vaccines, rushed out asap. There’s no reason to believe they won’t get better.”

          That’s a great comment to make, in a world where public officials are rationally skeptical about what the vaccine can do, and no one is trying to force people to use it.

          In the world we live in?

          It’s just another condemnation of the utter incompetence and arrogant stupidity of our “ruling class”

          1. I have to agree with you Greg, that the “ruling class” by tone if not in so few words promotes a myth of invincibility via vaccination. And at the same time CDC refuses to identify any means of measuring immunity due to previous infecton.

        3. Lee,
          I leave it to each individual to assess their own lack of sobriety. Many vaccinated people go about as if they are invincible.

          1. The Israeli study suggests that, for future safety, having actually had real Covid beats having had the Covid vaccine, but there’s one strategy that (marginally) beats having had real Covid. And that’s having had real Covid AND the vaccine.

            Hence, if you’ve had the vaccine, so long as you are young enough and healthy enough for the risks from real Covid to be very small, then behaving as if you’re invincible (by Covid) may be the optimum strategy for long term protection – ie for when you’re older and more vulnerable.

            E & OE (naturally)

            1. That could be true. And you make a reasonable inference from the Israeli study.
              The younger one is the lower the risk of morbidity from COVID-19.
              My mom had COVI-19, fortunately a mild case and has also been vaccinated

        4. Lee,
          Perhaps this recent piece from Japan is more sobering for you:
          “The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant is poised to acquire complete
          resistance to wild-type spike vaccines” bioRxiv, https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.22.457114

          A possibility is that our first step may not have been is the best considered direction. And efforts at drug for treatment have received much less emphasis

        5. “There’s no reason to believe they won’t get better.”

          Sadly, there is at this point. We should have already had vaccines for the new variants, mRNA vaccines are absurdly easy to update.

          Why don’t we? Because the urgency is gone, and the regulators are back to obstructing things.

  14. I’d want to know more about what actually happened during the custody hearing. I’ve looked at several articles reporting on this story and it seems to just be coming from the mother and her attorney (which I guess technically qualifies as “two sources” for journalism purposes). Knowing that people embroiled in a custody dispute tend to cast themselves as the heroes/victims in the story and their exes or the judge (when they don’t rule in their favor) as the villains, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more to it than the mother not being vaccinated that played into the judge’s decision.

    1. Maybe there is more, but regardless of how much more there *may* be, vaccination status shouldn’t matter. It’s akin to denying custody because the judge doesn’t like the color of your shoes.

    2. More kids were killed last year by the flu, than by Covid.

      Now, imagine a custody case where the judge, sua sponte, removes a parent’s access to his / her child because the parent hasn’t had the flu shot.

      That would make more sense than this order, and it still would make no sense at all

    3. Concur with TW’s comment – As i previously noted, There a probably a lot a facts not favorable to the mom which are not disclosed.

      I would like to know if Cook county Illinois has separate family courts. My experience is that the really bad decisions are in counties that do not have separate county courts. If this was a regular family court, I would have expected this issue to have arisen 20-30 times in this judge’s court since Jan 2021,

    4. It was a child support hearing, not a custody/visitation matter.

  15. A would wish to have more (and more reliable) information concerning this case before reaching any conclusion, and it appears from some reports that this mother does herself few favors with her conduct, but it also is reported that some visitation rights have been reinstated.

    1. I’m with Kirkland on this. We should definitely be skeptical when we are relying on a 1-sided press release.

  16. I am puzzled about this muting user function.

    I had assumed it was a function whereby I could place a little curtain between me and the users I didn’t want to read. And it seems to work that way. Only when I am reading without logging in, my muted users (only one in fact) reappear in their full glory. Fair enough. If I’m not logged in, your system doesn’t know to mute the users I want muted.

    But now you guys, whether Volokh or Reason, seem to be muting Pavel for your own reasons (which are not hard to guess at.) But he’s only muted when I log in. So when I don’t log in, there he is, bold as brass, yacking away.

    I am not sure y’all have got the hang of this censorship thing.

    1. Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland and I can assure you that Prof. Volokh (with the Volokh Conspiracy Board Of Censors) is a practiced imposer of partisan, viewpoint-controlled censorship.

    2. Lee,
      I don’t see what you are puzzled about. The muting preferences are tied to your user profile. If you don’t log in, you have no profile know to the server.
      My muting Pavel does not censor his posts for you are anyone else.
      They are all there for anyone to waste his/her time reading. I prefer to preclude him from wasting my time.

      1. You may have misunderstood me. I understand that if I don’t log in, the server can’t know my muting preferences.

        The point is that Pavel (who I haven’t muted, though I can’t say I dally too long on his comments) is nevertheless muted, when I log in. Pavel’s muting must be a Volokh / Reason decision to mute, because it isn’t mine. Presumably it’s a reputational matter, Volokh / reason not wanting to be associated with his comments.

        But what is the point in Volokh / Reason muting him, if he is unmuted for people who aren’t logged in ? It may be that the technology is not up to it. But if the technology is not up to it, it seems a bit silly to try.

        1. I did misunderstand you.
          I never much paid attention but I’ll do an experiment right now and report back.

        2. Lee,
          I did my experiment. I logged out and looked at the comments Pavel’s comments were fully readable as were those of others whom I regularly keep on mute.
          So I can’t explain what is going on when you see him muted even when you have not signed in.

          1. No.

            I see him muted when I’m logged in. Or rather I don’t see him.
            I see him unmuted when I’m not signed in.

            It is just as if I had muted him. But I haven’t muted him.

            Consequently – I presume – it is a muting by the Volokh / Reason platform, which applies to all users. But only when they’re logged in.

            So – I presume – Volokh / Reason is “censoring” Pavel because they do not wish to be associated with his (very silly) remarks. But their “censorship” fails for anyone who isn’t logged in. Hence it’s a bit pointless, if the object is to disassociate Volokh / Reason from Pavel.

            Though of course it could be a cunning experiment by EV that he will use in due course for one of his learned pieces on the 1st Amendment and hosting functions.

            1. Lee,
              I am not understanding what you see. If you see Pavel when you are not logged in, then EV/Reason is not censoring him.
              That you see him muted when logged in, I presume that was your choice. Am I wrong and that you have not ever muted Pavel?
              Another experiment is in order. I’ll unmute Pavel and sign out the i will sig in and see if is is muted.

              1. I did as I said. Pavel is unmuted.
                I see no evidence that either EV or REason has censored Pavel.

              2. That you see him muted when logged in, I presume that was your choice. Am I wrong and that you have not ever muted Pavel?

                Correct. I see him muted when logged in, but I have not muted him.

                1. That is very strange because if I have not muted him, the I see him when I log in

                2. Perhaps you muted him by accident?

                  I haven’t muted anyone. It’s easier to skip over comments, if they are inessential.

                  1. That is by far the simplest explanation. You accidentally muted him, and didn’t notice. You can just unmute him as a test.

  17. Update: The Judge has rescinded his order.

    1. Presumably he prefers to work in darkness, and EV’s torch was a bit too bright.

      1. This decision is three weeks old and has been reported widely. The likelihood that Prof. Volokh’s lathering of his fans influenced the judge’s conduct seems remote.

      2. It can’t be because of re-election concerns. He’s a D judge in Cook County, so he has the zombie constituency locked up.

  18. Jew Judge James Shapiro vacated his sua sponte isolation/vaxx order citing no evidence of endangerment. But now daddy’s lawyer, also a jew says he will file an emergency motion: Jeffrey Leving, the attorney representing Firlit’s ex-husband, Matthew Duiven, called the reversal “unfortunate” and said that he would be pursuing an “emergency motion…to fight it.”

    Mother’s doctor advised her not to get the clot shot for health reasons. Mother’s lawyer is a jew as well. Three jews, no law, now daddy is fighting to keep kid isolated, smells like a pedo case. Someone should check the kid’s butt.

    https://www.newsweek.com/unvaccinated-mother-allowed-see-son-after-judge-reverses-previous-ruling-1624373

    1. ” Mother’s doctor advised her not to get the clot shot for health reasons. ”

      That’s her — unsubstantiated, so far as I am aware — story. Her other conduct suggests her reliability is low.

Please to post comments