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Tim Tebow And Urban Meyer Pictures Now Potentially Banned in Tennessee

Now offensive in Tennessee

I can no longer distribute this image in the great state of Tennessee without the threat of legal proceedings. This isn’t a joke, sadly. This is an amazingly broad, overreaching decision brought to you by our governmental overlords (Tennessee Division):

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines….

The ban on distressing images, which was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, is also an update to existing law. Tennessee law already made it a crime to make phone calls, send emails, or otherwise communicate directly with someone in a manner the sender “reasonably should know” would “cause emotional distress” to the recipient. If the communciation lacked a “legitimate purpose,” the sender faced jail time.

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But for image postings, the “emotionally distressed” individual need not be the intended recipient. Anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court decides you “should have known” that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

I’m not being polemic when I say this: you can now get in legal trouble for bringing up Lane Kiffin in a public place. And don’t get me started on #Weinergate


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Comments (22)

Thoughtcrime.... (Below threshold)


About the only thing that I... (Below threshold)

About the only thing that I can think of to say is, "WTF are you people in Tennessee thinking!?"

I cannot imagine that this would ever make it past the Supreme Court and I also can easily imagine that soon there will be many cases winding their way through the courts with that ultimate destination just a matter of time

They may have been over-sam... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

They may have been over-sampling their state's finest distilled products . . .

If this manages to survive ... (Below threshold)

If this manages to survive the likely First Amendment challenges to come, Oliver Willis will put down the fish sticks and demand Glenn Reynolds be thrown in jail, because the "Instapundit" logo is an obvious incitement meant to upset the entirety of the Reality-Based Community™.

And Ace of Spades? Summary execution.

Thanks. I'm already pissed ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Thanks. I'm already pissed now and the day just started. :)

I'm from Knoxville.

You'd drink like a fish als... (Below threshold)

You'd drink like a fish also to get rid of the thought of only having won 6 games against the Gators since 1990 when they started to play each other every year. They have no wins at all since 2004.

Its almost like playing Vandy.

Gator Nation

Oppps, forgot to say this i... (Below threshold)

Oppps, forgot to say this is what passes for silly season legislation from the TN politicians. Most likely the law will get tossed because of 1st amendment violations.

Is it worth pointing out he... (Below threshold)
James H:

Is it worth pointing out here that Gov. Haslam is a Republican? And that both the Tennessee House and Tennessee Senate have Republican majorities?

Yer scarin' me! Now I fe... (Below threshold)

Yer scarin' me! Now I feel distressed. Where's my lawyer?

James H:Yes, is is... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

James H:

Yes, is is worth noting. Just goes to show that party affiliation is highly overrated. I'm an anti-statist, and a squishy Republican only by default. The Republicans just happen to usually be the better of two bad choices.

The legislators are defending this piece of crap by saying that the law was "intended" to apply to sexting and child porn.

Is it worth poi... (Below threshold)
Is it worth pointing out here that Gov. Haslam is a Republican?
Do you seriously think that's some kind of revelation?

It's 2011, James H. I think most people have figured out that stupid politicians come in all flavors. Well, most non-Democrats.

It's also worth noting that... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

It's also worth noting that we're outraged. Next time someone says "Why don't you ever criticize Republicans? You always give them a pass." you can refer back here to prove the canard.

I expect this shite from Sa... (Below threshold)

I expect this shite from San Fran, but TN?!?

The worst part of this is, ... (Below threshold)

The worst part of this is, some Islamist (not Muslim, but Islamist) will claim that all depictions of Christianity are offensive, and sue to block some egregiously Christian TV show. The typical leftist idiots (Michael Needow, I am looking at you...) will support this because it fulfills their adolescent compulsion to senselessly fight against establishment. A TRO will force all Christian imagery off of TV/radio, along with 'uncovered women', pork commercials (nope, no more bacon or Jimmy Dean commercials) and Anne Coulter.

Followers of Muhammad will be immune from prosecution because, nobody likes the Christians, with all their 'rules' and sense of right and wrong, and plus, the Islamists are against those wet-blanket Christians anyway.

Yes this plays into the han... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes this plays into the hands of the islamic idiots for whom everything is an offense.

It also plays into the hands of the anti-American left for whom hanging an American flag outside your home is an offense and creates an oppressive environment.

The two things this law will be used for will be to suppress non-muslim religious expression and to suppress pro-American displays. I seriously doubt that other applications of this law will amount to anything of significance.

It's time for a refresher c... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

It's time for a refresher course on the 1st Amendment in the Tennessee State Capitol.

So if I lived in Tennessee ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

So if I lived in Tennessee and I received Obama re-election campaign mailers from various lefty organizations calling for four more years of Obama, could I sue them for knowingly causing me fright, intimidation and emotional distress?

Tennessee GOP, what the Sam Hill are you thinking/smoking?

This could be the death of ... (Below threshold)

This could be the death of the internet in Tenn.

"Is it worth pointing out h... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

"Is it worth pointing out here that Gov. Haslam is a Republican?
8. Posted by James H | June 10, 2011 7:59 AM "

Let me try to clue you in.
Posters here are conservatives and non-Democrats.
Most often having to end up defaulting to the lesser of two evils party.
That's why we constantly bray about "RINOs".
For the most part the establishment Republican party is essentially "Democrat Lite".

Democrats = Neo-fuedalists<... (Below threshold)

Democrats = Neo-fuedalists

Republican = Party of Teh Stupid

Conservative = Eliminate lawlessness, then KYFHO.

Liberal = All you, into your cubbies! No independent thinking!

Isn't that against a consti... (Below threshold)

Isn't that against a constitutional right to free speech? If you don't like what you're hearing, lower the volume or change the channel.

It's also worth noting t... (Below threshold)

It's also worth noting that we're outraged. Next time someone says "Why don't you ever criticize Republicans? You always give them a pass." you can refer back here to prove the canard.

You're kidding, right? Even among this tepid commentary, a few here still somehow find a way to turn this alleged "outrage" into taking shots at "leftist idiots" or the "anti-American left". Huh?

I credit the posters here for calling out a ridiculous law. But unless you're going to proclaim the TN legislature socialist, nanny-state, anti-American, idiots, authoritarian, fascist, or any of the other slurs you'd hurl at Democrats who were to do this same thing, then you assuredly ARE giving them a pass.






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