I was just wondering, since a gag order prevents you from speaking publicly about a case, couldn’t you counter it with a violation of your right to free speech? Suppose you posted information anonymously?

Free speech is not and never has been absolute. The right to a fair trial is also important.They have to weigh the right to free speech to the rights of the accused and the victim in a case. By issuing a gag order, they are protecting both – victims from being bullied and harassed and criminals from having so much pretrial prejudice they can’t get a fair trial. A gag order is rarely issued and only with good cause.

If it’s a civil case, it’s what the parties agree to – so no one is deprived of free speech.

Free speech can be restricted with due process, which is what is happening. An anonymous posting is NOT anonymous and it wouldn’t take long for them to track you down. And put you in jail for contempt.

 

9 Responses to “how does a gag order not go against free speech?”

  1. Sir says:

    good question
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  2. Squid says:

    The right to free speech is not absolute. There are many times that it conflicts with other rights.

    In the case of a gag order, freedom of speech is subordinate to the defendants right to a fair trial.
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  3. Sans Deity says:

    It’s no different from perjury laws or contempt of court laws. Your freedom of speech is not absolute. Just like you can get in legal trouble for lying in court or speaking out in court, you can get in trouble for violating a gag order.

    If you posted it anonymously obviously they could not get you on anything, but you better damn well hope they can’t figure out who you are.

    @Vincent It’s not illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater if there’s really a fire or if you can demonstrate that you had good reason to believe there was one. You just can’t do it to intentionally hurt people.
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  4. ALTO says:

    It is against free speech, it violates not only your free speech but your right to present your case.
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  5. Mutt says:

    Free Speech is not about you saying anything you want at any time you want. It’s about you being allowed to express your opinions and beliefs. A "gag order" prevents you from talking about the case, not your opinions and beliefs. But if your opinions and beliefs revile anything about hte case, you can find yourself in trouble.
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  6. darling says:

    no, why would you want to tell people and cause problems.
    keep your mouth shut!
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  7. taxreff says:

    "Suppose you posted information anonymously?"

    Since the answers saying free speech is not absolute are correct, allow me to address this part of your question.

    Violating a court order is violating a court order, whether done publicly or anonymously. If caught, you could be fined and/or imprisoned for contempt of court. If you post the information online, you might be surprised how easy it is for an investigator with a court order to track you down.
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  8. Libraryanna says:

    Free speech is not and never has been absolute. The right to a fair trial is also important.They have to weigh the right to free speech to the rights of the accused and the victim in a case. By issuing a gag order, they are protecting both – victims from being bullied and harassed and criminals from having so much pretrial prejudice they can’t get a fair trial. A gag order is rarely issued and only with good cause.

    If it’s a civil case, it’s what the parties agree to – so no one is deprived of free speech.

    Free speech can be restricted with due process, which is what is happening. An anonymous posting is NOT anonymous and it wouldn’t take long for them to track you down. And put you in jail for contempt.
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    Retired lawyer

  9. Vinncent says:

    >How does a gag order not go against free speech?

    The same way yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater is HIGHLY ILLEGAL you don’t have the right to ruin the states case against someone.

    >Suppose you posted information anonymously?

    Do you have SPECIAL NEEDS? NOTHING is truly anonymous anymore if you’re the only person with this information they won’t have to look very far for the leak. You better just keep quiet unless you like sex with strange men some Judges have "special" holding cells for people like you.
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