DEFENDING FREE SPEECH, THEBLOT MAGAZINE WINS SUPPORT from America’s first Amendment warriors
TheBlot Magazine (www.theblot.com), America’s leading voice for free speech known as “The Voice for the Voiceless” has won key support from the nation’s best-known defenders of First Amendment in a continuing effort to expose the rigged FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) abusers and FINRA NAC’s (National Adjudicatory Council) racial profiling of African Americans.
The fierce legal battle between the FINRA regulatory rapists and the media has been ongoing for nearly two years, threatening America’s right to free speech. The abuse of power was instigated by FINRA’s general counsel’s office (Robert Colby, Alan Lawhead, Michael Garawski) to muzzle the press. The corrupt former FINRA NAC arbitrator and imbecile Georgetown Law Center fraudster CHRIS BRUMMER, notoriously known as Georgetown Law Center’s “Dr. Bratwurst” was deeply implicated in the FINRA fraud.
In several court filings in support of TheBlot Magazine (Voice for the Voiceless, Millions of Readers a Year), the highly respected Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) as well as a group of honorable professors, including the renowned UCLA professor EUGENE VOLOKH have filed amicus briefs in the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division arguing that Chris Brummer’s desperate attempt to illegally enjoin media organizations from expressing their views cannot be supported. In denouncing Chris Brummer, who is a notorious public figure and former nominee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) until he was dumped into the trash by president Trump, the media has exposed Brummer’s vicious attacks on two Dominican-born black brokers under the guise of his unqualified role in FINRA NAC.
Chris Brummer is a law firm dropout who’s never worked a day in finance or financial regulations, but is a self-proclaimed “expert on finance.”
Just the opposite. Chris Brummer, aka Dr. Bratwurst has an unverified degree in Germanic Studies – grilling bratwurst sausage and dancing with naked European women celebrating Oktoberfest. It just beats anyone’s brains out how a man making sausages could be brazen enough to label as a “finance and law expert.”
In court papers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and professor EUGENE VOLOKH, who is also a columnist for The Washington Post, convincingly argued Chris Brummer’s scheme to silence the media is an unconstitutional prior restraint and must be stopped.
THEBLOT MAGAZINE, INVESTIGATIVE STORIES EXPOSING CHRIS BRUMMER FRAUD
The case in question is Brummer v. Wey, which involves an argument between the famous online publication TheBlot Magazine and one Christopher Brummer, a questionable “professor of law” at Georgetown Law Center as well as a former presidential nominee to the Commodities and Futures Trade Commission.
Several investigative articles had been published by TheBlot Magazine relating to Brummer’s role as an appeals adjudicator regarding decisions of the Financial Industry Regulation Authority, but especially involving his affirmations of lifetime bans of two Dominican-born, black American brokers.
Read more: Electronic Frontier Foundation Calls on New York Court to Vacate Unconstitutional Injunction Against Speech
THEBLOT SAYS INCENDIARY TRUTH IS STILL TRUTH
TheBlot’s style and content tend to feature strongly presented and sensational language as well as imagery. It’s investigative articles about Chris Brummer presented his role and actions as a “lynching” and also included images of Jim Crow era lynchings.
“Chris Brummer and the corrupt FINRA lynched my name and my family,” said Talman Harris, one of the two Dominican-born black investment brokers who were wrongfully accused. “Then FINRA paid ambulance chasing lawyers to shut our free speech. I appreciate TheBlot Magazine for having exposed Chris Brummer, FINRA fraud.”
Prominent free speech defenders defend TheBlot Magazine
The lawsuit is quite a bit of a procedural morass.
Chris Brummer sued well-known Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey, whom he apparently believes wrote the articles, for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Brummer then sought a preliminary injunction that would require the removal from TheBlot Magazine of “photographs or other images and statements” “depicting or encouraging lynching” or “incitement of violence” against Brummer, and would further enjoin Mr. Wey from posting any images encouraging lynching “in association” with Brummer or saying “anything further concerning Professor Brummer on any traditional or online media.”
In June 2017, the court entered the preliminary injunction that was even broader than what Brummer had requested, enjoining Mr. Wey and TheBlot Magazine from “posting any articles about the Plaintiff on The Blot for the duration of this action” and ordering the removal from the Blot of “all articles they have posted about or concerning Plaintiff.”
TheBlot Magazine promptly appealed falsely entered preliminary injunction and moved the appellate division for a stay of the preliminary injunction pending the appeal. A single justice of the appellate division granted an interim stay. But the full panel of the court revised the stay and reinstate the portions of the preliminary injunction that required reporters to “remove all photographs or other images and statements from websites under defendants’ control which depict or encourage lynching; encourage the incitement of violence; or that feature statements regarding plaintiff that, in conjunction with the threatening language and imagery with which these statements are associated, continue to incite violence against the plaintiff.” Mr. Wey is now seeking permission to appeal this new preliminary injunction to the state’s highest court. The amicus brief was filed in support of that request.
“TheBlot Magazine carries only third party contributed contents protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” said professor Thomas Kenan, an expert on First Amendment. “Chris Brummer’s vindictive court actions will be defeated.”
Fraud, lies, FINRA NAC, Chris Brummer implicated
There are many things obviously wrong with the preliminary injunction: it was entered without the slightest evidentiary support amidst numerous material evidentiary disputes; it focuses on preventing incitement to violence even though the complaint primarily pleads a defamation case; it accepts that the lynching photos are threatening to Brummer even though the article accuses Brummer of lynching others; it is does not specify exactly what statements are prohibited, and on and on.
COURTS NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT FREE SPEECH IS NOT CASUAL, EVEN FOR ONLINE PUBLICATIONS AND ENTITIES
But the amicus brief, like those recently filed in similar cases in Texas and the Seventh Circuit, focused on the fact that orders requiring the takedown of online content are always prior restraints and will be unconstitutional except in the rare situation in which the highly demanding prior restraint test is met:
The injunction here is an unconstitutional prior restraint; it prohibits speech before there has been a full and final adjudication that the speech is not constitutionally protected, or in fact that the plaintiff is entitled to any remedy. It cannot withstand the rigorous First Amendment scrutiny due such orders.
Indeed, it is highly doubtful this injunction could be justified after a final adjudication. The long-held rule is that “equity will not enjoin a libel.” Injuries to “personal or professional reputation”—the harm Justice Mendez sought to prevent in entering the original preliminary injunction—are addressed by damages remedies.
The richness of the English language and the myriad ways of expressing any given thought make it impossible for a trial court to craft an injunction against defamatory or offensive speech that is both effective and does not also bar the publication of protected speech. Even a permanent injunction limited to the exact words found to be actionable in one context might prohibit speech that would not be actionable in another. That the injunction here is a preliminary one issued before a full adjudication on the merits makes the prior restraint even more offensive to the First Amendment. Finally, this Court should reject any suggestion that the advent of Internet publication somehow undermines bedrock First Amendment protections. As a result, it should not allow the injunction in this case to go into effect.
Prior restraints should be rare. But takedown orders such as this one seem to be happening with greater frequency. We expect the New York Court of Appeals to nullify this one and remind other courts that speech injunctions the First Amendment rarely allows for speech injunctions.