Constitutional curiosity

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if probation restrictions on whom one can “associate” with have ever been subject to first amendment scrutiny? The linked story strikes me as the best possible test case, since a defendant’s probation was violated for an association with a political activist.


5 Responses to “Constitutional curiosity”

  1. Steve M. Says:

    I’d like to know exactly what he was convicted of and how the probation conditions were worded; the article doesn’t say. But, yeah, I can imagine a lot of probation conditions that would lead to that PO’s report that would be quite obviously unconstitutional. But then again, I’d need to see the probation order to say anything definitive.

    Also: Does this recent activity bode well for a triumphant return to blogging? Surely this is the way in which you can maximize the utility you give to the world.

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    Maybe? The problem is, I don’t think this blog really has a purpose anymore… it feels like sort of “ok, vaguely interesting thing, stick it on a blog.” And I want more, better, more directed!

  3. Steve M. Says:

    More philosophy. Also snark. You know, comparative advantage and all that.

    Failing that, you could blog the Bible. Or the federalist papers.

  4. Michael Drake Says:

    Restrictions on association with convicted felons and those engaged in criminal activity is a pretty standard condition (recommended by the guidelines). Hard to say anything about this condition, since the actual language isn’t stated. But probation’s probably just claiming that this associate is engaged in illegal activity. A restriction targeting association with “political activists” would be pretty suspect (even given the tremendous latitude district courts have in setting conditions of release).

  5. Michael Drake Says:

    (Should have had scare quotes around “associate.” The issue seems to be whether a facebook “friend” is an “associate.”)

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