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This originally appeared in January of 2010:

This has nothing to do with my usual subjects, although loosely it’s related to civil rights and con. law, but this is an interesting opinion from the 10th Circuit. As you may know, John Grisham wrote a nonfiction book published in 2006 about a wrongful conviction. He painted the prosecutor, a police officer, and the state criminologist in a rather negative light, and they sued Grisham along with three other men who had written about the case for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false light, and civil conspiracy. The alleged conspiracy was to abolish the death penalty, so you might guess where this is going. The district court dismissed for failure to state a claim, and the court of appeals affirmed in large part because public officials don’t get to sue people critical of them except in a few narrow circumstances. It’s an interesting opinion.

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