It Is Unconstitutional To Shoot The Messenger

At least in Illinois. An Illinois judge recently ruled that the Illinois eavesdropping statute is unconstitutionally vague. The ruling was vindication for Annabel Melango. Ms. Melango secretly tape recorded three phone calls with the Cook County Court Reporter’s office and posted them on her Web site. That got her charged with six counts of illegal eavesdropping. The Unites States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit had previously ruled that the law likely violated the First Amendment. These decisions, coupled with a First Circuit decision from earlier this year are welcome rulings for folks who want to record and monitor the performance of public officials. Those of us who believe that transparency is a good thing have reason to celebrate.