Prior Restraint, Roger Shuler, and the Rileys of Alabama

8:18 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Roger Shuler (above) and Rob Riley (below)

Many FDL readers may know the posts of Roger Shuler, who writes at his Legal Schnauzer blog, he posted. Or at least, he did until last week, when he got beaten up and hauled off to jail:

The prominent investigative blogger Roger Shuler was arrested and beaten by Shelby County sheriff’s deputies in his Alabama garage upon returning home the evening of Oct. 23.

Shuler faces charges stemming from his refusal to obey a judge’s order to stop writing about an alleged affair involving Robert Riley Jr., an attorney who is part of Alabama’s most prominent political family.

Shuler at right shown in a jail mug shot photo with a swollen face after his beating and attack with MACE in his garage. Authorities in his county south of Birmingham held him on two contempt of court charges and one for resisting arrest. A judge refused to set bond on the contempt charges, thereby enabling authorities to hold Shuler for an undetermined period that could be many months at the judge’s discretion. His bond was $1,000 for the resisting arrest charge.

Update Oct. 29: As of this writing, Shuler remained in jail, his wife was barricaded in their home, and a news blackout remained through virtually all of the mainstream media, with only a few web-based media covering the story. OpEdNews editor Joan Brunwasser published an interview with me: Andrew Kreig: Alabama Journalist Roger Shuler Beaten and Arrested! A sympathetic reader of these reports dropped off enough food to last for several days, and more than $1,000 has been contributed to a fund for potential legal expenses.

Shuler remained in jail without bond on the morning of Oct. 29. This story passed 20,000 hits on this site. As far away as Moscow, the pro-privacy fighter Edward Snowden had reTweeted this column to his followers. The mainstream United States media maintained eerie silence. As so often said (most famously by Edward R. Murrow), a nation of sheep begets a government of wolves.

Even people inclined to see Shuler as a crank and a nutjob are angry about the blatantly unconstitutional “prior restraint” involved in the efforts to gag Shuler and Legal Schnauzer. Here is Ken White of Popehat, a legal blog, weighing in:
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