Random Links

9 Feb

Here’s a few quick hitters for those of you out there who care about First Amendmenty things going on here in the land of Ten Thousand Lakes:

  • A bunch of news outlets reported on a group of 35 Minnesota Rabbis who signed on to a letter opposing the ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. MPR reported that the group was made up of members of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, which represents “conservative, reform and reconstructionist clergy from 15 congregations around the state.” According to the American Jewish World News, it looks like the group will be pretty active in opposing the measure.
  • That Rolling Stone piece about Anoka and its bullying issues we mentioned before has been causing some rumblings in the local media.  Lori Sturdevant over at the Strib thinks the piece went to far in attempting to connect the suicides with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. Local media guru Dave Brauer over at MinnPost does not agree with her.
  •  There’s been a few updates on the case of William Melchert-Dinkel, the former nurse from Fairbault who went online and encouraged two depressed people to kill themselves. Melchert-Dinkel was found guilty in Rice County District Court of aiding the suicides of a British man and a Canadian woman last year. His attorney is in the process of appealing the conviction. According to a February 7 AP story, Assistant Rice County Attorney Benjamin Bejar said in his appellate brief that First Amendment protections are not absolute and don’t cover words encouraging another person’s lawless conduct. I didn’t go over to St. Paul to read the briefs for myself, because, heck, this is just a blog that nobody reads, but we here at the Void are watching this one pretty closely and we’ll keep you posted as events unfold.
  • There’s been some rumblings in the press about the saga of Robin Hensel, a Little Falls resident who, according to the Brainerd Dispatch, was barred from keeping protest signs in her yard because they violated a city signage ordinance. Hensel went on to complain that a “Support our Troops” banner on the American National Bank building violates the same policy. This has apparantly caused quite the ruckus in Little Falls. The Strib’s John Tevlin wrote a spirited defense of Hensel, and Eric Black over at MinnPost wrote a spirited defense of Tevlin’s spirited defense of Hensel.

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