A sheriff violated a teenager’s First Amendment rights when his department threatened to jail him if he did not remove an Instagram post about being infected with Covid-1, a federal judge has ruled.
Last year, Amiyah Kohun went on a spring break trip to Florida with schoolmates from Westfield Area High School in Westfield, Wisconsin. The tour coincided with the early spread of COVID-19, the trip was partially canceled and he returned home.
When he returns home, he begins to have symptoms of Covid-1 of and seeks medical help. He posted a picture of himself in April 2020 and described his situation on Instagram, telling people he was infected.
It was not entirely clear whether Kohun was actually Kovid at the time. He tested negative, but he may have missed the identification window – and in those early days, Covid tests weren’t nearly as reliable as they are now. Her family says doctors told her she probably had covid, even if they couldn’t prove it at the time.
The day after he posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask, a deputy from Market County visited the family home, where Sheriff Joseph Conrath sent Cohen to remove the post or order his arrest for disorderly conduct.
Cohen agrees, but the family also filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department, representing the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. The coverage of the case has made the story viral. It turned out that Konath was apparently working in response to pressure from Kohun’s school, trying to reassure parents that everything was fine and that there was no infection in the county.
Friday, U.S. District Judge Brett H. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The First Amendment speech was protected, and the sheriff did not have the legal right to order its removal.
Ludwig writes, “Defendants may have preferred to keep Market County residents unaware for a while about the possibility of Covid-1 of in their community, so that they can avoid calling concerned citizens.” “But that priority did not give them the ability to hunt and eliminate uncomfortable Instagram posts.”
Ludwig strongly reminded the sheriff that if Cohen made a mistake about his infection – even if he lied intentionally – he shouldn’t have ordered him to take it down: ” Rather than silence a lot of talking in the news, those who regularly speak one-sidedly about the day’s issues, intentionally ignoring any inconvenient event that might disrupt their preferred narrative.No court has ever proposed that non-commercial lies are exempt from First Amendment verification. . “
This is an interesting time capsule. Although many of us are now frustrated with the government response which increases the risk of infection in vaccination and at the same time drags their feet in vaccine enhancement and home testing, let us not forget the first day, when the head of authority was in the sand and everything was going to be fine Try to act like.