False Testimony Concealed: The Unconstitutional “Prior Restraint”

Updated 4 years ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

Courts are properly authorized to sanction acts of defamation—publicly lying about someone—but they’re not authorized to prohibit truthful speech or opinion (even if it’s negative), and they’re not authorized to prohibit speech acts before they’ve even been committed. An order of the court that prohibits future speech is called a prior restraint, and it’s unconstitutional (see the First Amendment).

With civil harassment orders, things get knotty. A prior restraint may not be expressed; it may be implicit.



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