April 28, 2006

Free Speech in New England

A local blogger in Maine is being sued by that state's tourism office for posting advertising he pulled from the state website. Apparently the ad had an incorrect phone number that went to a phone sex line. Embarassing, perhaps, but enough to prompt a $1 million dollar lawsuit that seems likely to be thrown out for violating the First Amendment?

I think not.

There's a long tradition of free speech in New England, going back to the Revolutionary Era, though perhaps not much further, given the Puritan nature of the first settlers. I'm not going to style Lance Dutson the next Tom Paine, but he deserves the blogosphere's full support, and, given the excellence of attorneys he had retained, think he will find the law is on his side as well.

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