Governor Ron DeSantis is under attack for suggesting a registry for bloggers who write about him or his administration. He’s now distanced himself from the proposed law. He says he had nothing to do with it. Whether he did or did not isn’t the question. The question is, why would anyone think such a registry is a good idea?
The rationale for registries has always been straightforward: they are administrative measures needed to protect the public. People are required to register many things: for driving a car, sailing a boat, flying a plane, signing up for the draft, cutting hair for a living, etcetera.
But anyone reading this website doesn’t need to be told that those aren’t the only type of registries. There is another kind of registry that is designed to shame unpopular minorities. These registries have a long history. California set up one almost 80 years ago for gay people. Today every state has a sex offender registry. Some states have other registries: for animal abusers, domestic abusers, arsonists, etc.
The proposed blogger registry seems to fit the second category. That’s why it has attracted so much opposition. But people opposing it again need to ask themselves that simple question: why would anyone think it is a good idea?
The answer is obvious: Sex offender registries have granted legitimacy to collective shaming. The anti-bloggers make a point: If a registry is o.k. for one group of people, it’s o.k. for another. And another.
In most states it is not necessary to demonstrate that an individual is dangerous for that person to be put on a sex offender registry. The same is true under Federal law. And even if someone can be shown to be dangerous, it is not necessary to demonstrate that putting this person’s name and face and address on a public registry will protect the public.
There is only one thing the registries actually demonstrate: that the people subjected to them are categorically unpopular.
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch stated in his dissent in the Gundy case: “Yes, those affected are some of the least popular among us. But if a single executive branch official can write laws restricting the liberty of this group of persons, what does that mean for the next?”
The proposed blogger registry is a legislative, not an executive, edict. But that doesn’t mean it is any more justifiable. Lawmaking should not be an unpopularity contest.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Those famous words of Martin Luther King, Jr. apply to registries, too. Bloggers beware.
I got this today from a Ministry I follow even though I am not Jewish. Although they do not mention us, what they sent me in their newsletter could have almost as easily switched out Jewish to Sex offender. You have to read this below yourself and see why it touched me enough to post it. I had to read that 3 times to let it sink in.
From Friends of Israel Ministry:
“Unless you are Jewish, it is difficult for us to understand what Jewish people experience, even today: hatred for who you are, persecution and betrayal by those who profess friendship, and to live believing the whole world is against your very existence.”
The registry today along with special markings on drivers’ licenses is nothing more than another form of the ‘Star of David’.
And don’t forget the large “J” that was stamped on Jewish passports in the 1930’s. Kind of like our passport stamp? History often repeats itself.
Hum, I know a lot about history, but I did not know about the J stamp. Frankly I guess I didn’t think there were passports back then. Even up until recently, many countries didn’t even have border guards.
About 20 years ago, right after I got off probation, I went to Germany and Austria. When I got off the train in Austria, the station was empty, and I walked through the turn stills with my sister and the only way we knew we were in Austria was a line on the ground stating we were crossing the border once we crossed the turn stills from the train.
Yes but that little insignia was responsible for at least 2 million murders. If those drivers license notices are as insignificant as they claim then there is no need for it. Is it to protect the police officer who asks for your license? I’m not aware of a rash of sex offenders attacking police. Or am I missing something?
I don’t think any committee members will take seriously the notion that the red font could lead to murder. I would avoid that as a talking point.
I know myself. The folks who know me know what kind of a person that I am. I do not lose any sleep over what someone on the internet might say about me. If it is negative, then it is said out of ignorance and not worthy of my time.
We need to watch Florida HB 911 VERY closely. It doesn’t deal with the registry at all but could absolutely affect anybody commenting on FAC’s website.
It deals with people being able to sue for defamation over derogatory public comments. It lowers the bar on what’s considered defamatory speech to basically saying something the “offended or defamed party” to floor level.
If it passes, could we go after all the people on next door who defame anyone on the registry? Or those who go on facebook and say nasty things about me and the rest of us who are registered?
If not then another law that applies to everyone but registered humans.
That pretty well sums up the situation. I can see Lauren Book suing people left and right if this passes. Ron Book would probably beat her to the punch though.
Tallahassee (read Capitol dwellers) was frustrated with folks saying nasty things about them…… even though they were (the comments) were accurate or truthful.
This bill lowers the threshold so much that it scares both the far right and far left folks. When have you EVER heard of that happening!?
In Germany, prior to and during WW II. Today we see it in Russia and China.
Roger, are you sure it is HB 911. This is what I saw when I searched for it: Pub. Rec./E-mail Addresses and Secure Login Credentials/DOS; Provides exemptions from public records requirements for e-mail addresses collected & held by DOS & secure login credentials held by DOS for certain purpose; provides for retroactive application; provides for future legislative review & repeal of exemptions; provides statement of public necessity.
We have a government that is out of control.
Sex offender registries have granted legitimacy to collective shaming…
This was my thinking back in 2003, and Smith vs Doe was two years before SORNA in 2005. I knew that when people started running over my constitutional right of due process, it would only take a little time before everyone would be put on a registry of some kind or another.
Here we sit just 18 years later and RSO’s have precious little recognized rights from the constitution. And if politician’s do it to us, it will shortly follow that other groups will fall prey to the same fate.
This is nothing new. The Nazi’s do this same thing in WWII. Guess we didn’t learn from history!
Great to see FAC is coming around and recognizing that discrimination against others is discrimination against us and why BLM and other social orgs asking the American public to respect ALL..,ALL persons, ALL colors, ALL races, ALL religions.. are orgs our cause aligns with.
I hate to say this but more registries for things like dog/animals abuse, bad cop registries etc. might be one way for all this madness to end. Just seeing how people are reacting to this one about the Governor shows in general people do not want registries as long as it is something that affects them. Think about it.
We have been down this path before where we listed tons of ideas spoofingly. Homeless registries, rouge teacher registries, nurse and doctor registries, etc. When it affects someone else they call it big brother, or compare it to the holocaust. When it relates to us, sometimes we cannot even post the comments that are said about us.
It’s just free speech suppression. DeSantis is unworthy of his post.