This thread from @lizziedearden does a much better job than I did at explaining contempt law and reporting restrictions in the UK. (hat tip, again, to the tireless @nickmon1112)

Let's talk reporting restrictions.

#FreeTommy #FreeTommyRobinson

Yesterday I found reporting restrictions nearly incomprehensible. They seem like an obvious affront to freedom of the press.

From the British perspective - our system is equally incomprehensible, because allowing the media to sensationalize cases makes trials unfair.
And, really, the British have a point.

Think about the Harvey Weinstein case. He's been effectively convicted in the eyes of the entire public before his trial has even started. Can you imagine any jurors really coming in as a blank slate?
So, I get where the British are coming from.

With that said, their laws are still overly punitive and totally anachronistic.
For all of the concerns about maintaining the fairness of jury trials - judges can SUMMARILY throw you in jail for up to two years for contempt WITHOUT a jury trial.

If fair jury trials are a paramount value, shouldn't Tommy Robinson get one?
In the United States, throwing someone in jail for longer than 6 months requires a jury trial. Tommy got 13 months on the whim of an angry judge.

The British are willing to impose brutal, punitive sentences - without a jury trial - to maintain the fairness of jury trials.
Moreover, reporting restrictions are anachronistic. You can't prevent information from getting out on social media.

Reporting restrictions don't even achieve their objective of making trials fair in high-profile cases - which makes them unjust. via.library.depaul.edu/cgi/viewconten…
Finally, as @lizziedearden points out, reporting restrictions mean that professional journalists - and their fact checkers - aren't on the case.

As much as we hate on the MSM, random twitter users (like me) aren't great at fact-checking.
I made a number of mistakes yesterday - named the wrong judge, got contempt law wrong, got the Supreme Court case on point wrong.

My thread went viral anyway.

Maybe it would be better if professional journalists were reporting on this stuff?
Finally - THIS reporting restriction, in particular, is still totally unjustifiable.

The restriction is on Tommy's case - despite the fact that there is no jury trial.

It functions to shield this court and the judge from criticism, while doing nothing to protect others.
If the judge wanted to protect the defendants in the underlying trial, he could have tailored the gag order to discussion of *that* case - not Tommy's contempt conviction.

The overbroad restriction caused a Streisand effect - and brought more attention to the underlying case.
To sum up:

1) There are non-crazy reasons why the UK has reporting restrictions
2) Reporting restrictions are still dumb, anachronistic, and counterproductive
3) Applying a reporting restriction to Tommy's entire case is an abuse of power and counterproductive

FIN

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More from @willchamberlain

Oct 6, 2018
Almost three weeks ago, I called this a shit-test.

It was a test of Republicans' spine - a test of whether they would break in the face of an unverifiable, unfalsifiable, uncorroborated allegation.

They are about to pass.

#ConfirmKavanaugh
I called @ChuckGrassley a "peacetime Senator" and called for his removal as @senjudiciary chair.

He proved me wrong.

He showed his mettle.

Thank you, Senator.

And thanks to the Senator's staff as well - Mike Davis (@mrddmia) first and foremost.

Also, thank you @senatemajldr.

No one has done more to improve their standing in the last year than Cocaine Mitch.

He went from bete noire to folk hero.

We have a true gangster running the Senate, and we should be grateful.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
Starting a commentary thread

Both Grassley and Feinstein are speaking too long

Neither are compelling speakers

Both would have been well served by shorter speeches

#ConfirmJudgeKavanaugh
Also, at this point, Republicans of all stripes despise Feinstein

The longer she talks, the worse it is for Ford

#ConfirmKavanaugh
As an aside: Notice how hard it is to sound persuasive and authentic when you are READING a speech

Your tonality when you read is often different than when you speak

It’s necessary here because people give have to read from prepared opening statements
Read 17 tweets
Sep 26, 2018
We need an FBI investigation into the Democratic plot to smear Brett Kavanaugh! #ConfirmKavanaugh pscp.tv/w/bnrZIDUzMzM2…
Senate Democrats have stated that:

- the burden of proof is on the accused
- there is no presumption of innocence
- innocent people demand FBI investigations of their own behavior if they are accused of wrongdoing

They must call for an FBI investigation into themselves!
Democrats like @ChuckSchumer say there is NO EVIDENCE that Senate Democrats colluded to smear Brett Kavanaugh.

They should welcome an FBI investigation then! After all, if they are innocent, they have nothing to hide!

#ConfirmKavanaugh

Read 5 tweets
Sep 19, 2018
Obvious questions for Christine Blasey Ford:

- Why were you and your husband in couples therapy?
- Why did this accusation come up for the first time in couples therapy?
- Did your husband pressure you to come forward now?

#ConfirmKavanaugh
Christine Blasey Ford and her husband were married in 2002.

The first time she told *anyone* "of the incident in any detail" was 2012.

She kept this from her husband for OVER TEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE.

And then it came up - in couples therapy.

#ConfirmKavanaugh
This is my thesis (and to be clear this is just me extrapolating from public info)

I think Christine Blasey Ford fabricated this story in 2012 to save her marriage.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
The Kavanaugh circus is a reminder of why I voted for Trump.

Democrats are utterly ruthless. They will lie, cheat, steal, and smear to gain power. And they are institutionally bigoted towards straight white men.

Ignore the concern-trolling.

#ConfirmKavanaugh #MAGA
“Just switch to Barrett!”

Hell no.

You saw the hearings.

You saw the Democrats baying for blood.

Think they’ll be satisfied with just one scalp?

#ConfirmKavanaugh
If there was ever a time to stand and fight, it’s now.

If Republicans give in they will lose the House and Senate. 100%. No one will vote for a party of cowards.

The accusation is patent bullshit. Judge Kavanaugh has categorically denied it. The end.

#ConfirmKavanaugh
Read 4 tweets
Sep 10, 2018
Tolerance is our greatest strength.
Diversity is a stressor.

Tolerance is a measure of antifragility
“Diversity is our greatest strength” is a meme designed to increase a society’s tolerance
Read 4 tweets

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