Today is October 1, 2016. A day we will forever celebrate.
There are many significant dates every year where we recognize important events. We celebrate our birthdays, anniversaries, civil and religious holidays. We commemorate historic events, both good and bad, such as independence day and 9/11. We also recognize dates that are particularly meaningful because they redirected our lives.
Today, October 1, 2016, was the day the State of Florida would have begun enforcing it’s new definition of “Internet identifier”. If not for the action of some incredible people, the First Amendment rights of registered citizens in our state would have been annihilated. At least more so than they already are. It would have destroyed careers and the financial stability of our families. It would have impaired familial association by blocking the most widely used channels of communication in this century. It would have blocked our access to and ability to disseminate information. It would have barred this very post.
Fortunately for us, last Friday, a courageous Federal Judge in the Northern District of Florida saw the new law for what it is, “…hopelessly vague, chills speech protected by the First Amendment, and far broader than necessary to serve the State’s legitimate interest…” and granted a Preliminary Injunction, preventing the new definition of “Internet identifier” from being implemented. We are grateful!
We are forever grateful to the phenomenal team of attorneys who are representing the plaintiffs in this case; Val Jonas, Beth Weitzner, and from Florida Justice Institute, Inc.; Randall Berg and Dante Trevisani. You are working tirelessly on our behalf doing incredible legal work. It is impossible to articulate how meaningful this is to us.
We also wish to thank the attorneys working behind the scenes, such as Jeanne Baker, who has been our strongest advocate in getting this case filed. You brought our plight to our attorneys and to the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL), who we are also grateful to, both as an organization and the individual members who contributed generously, enabling us to fund our legal expenses when we alone could not.
Although a nice wall plaque or thank you card might have served as an adequate “thank you”, we hope you realize this post on our Internet forum is so much more meaningful for us in a way that we will never take for granted.
Literally, without you we would not be reading this!
Happy October 1st everybody!