N.J. Law Forbids Naming a Judge’s, Prosecutor’s, or Police Officer’s Close Relatives Online,
A New Jersey statute (enacted last Fall) limits publishing judges’, prosecutors’, and law enforcement officers’ home addresses; it makes it
- a crime to publish them if the publisher recklessly disregards the risk that it will “expose another to harassment or risk of harm to life or property,”
- civilly actionable if the publisher is negligent about it, and
- categorically forbidden regardless of the publisher’s mental state if the judge has specifically instructed the publisher to remove it.
That itself poses interesting First Amendment problems, given that marching past a person’s home as a protest seems to be constitutionally protected, see Frisby v. Schultz, and in many places even targeted residential picketing is legal; how can one organize such legally permissible events if one can’t find out and the communicate the address involved? And the law may also raise an interesting R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul question, given that it singles out speech about these government officials and doesn’t provide similar protection to other people who may reasonably worry about har
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