Why I Don’t Do Domestic Relations

Actually, there are a host of reasons, but cases like this would be on the list. Take a look at the link, but in summary, Anthony Morelli, a party to a divorce proceeding in New Jersey set up a Web site called “ThePsychoExWife.com.” The site featured unflattering comments about said ex-wife, including comparing her to “Jabba the Hut, with less personality.” The court, ordered Morelli to take down the site and never again refer to his ex-wife “on any public media” or mention his children online “other than ‘happy birthday’ or other significant school events.” I don’t know if that order is going to hold up, especially the last part. The First Amendment prohibits “prior restraint” – a court or a legislature can’t prohibit someone from speaking in advance, it can only address the speech after it is uttered. And this judge’s order sweeps in speech that would not be actionable in any other circumstance. If Morelli has a change of heart and wants to tell the world how wonderful his wife is, this order bars that. If he wants to tell Facebook friends about something funny his kids did, that’s off limits too. Once again, the First Amendment applies to people we like, but maybe even more so, to people we don’t like. Like it or not.