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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Law Students and High Profile Name-Calling

According to Politico, Gloria Allred has requested that Rush Limbaugh be prosecuted for calling law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute":

In a letter dated March 8, Allred, writing on behalf of the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund, requested that Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe probe whether the conservative radio personality had violated Section 836.04 of the Florida Statutes by calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke the two derogatory words.

The statute stipulates that anyone who “speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity” is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Allred explained that the statute recently came to her attention as having never been repealed, and that it could very well apply to Limbaugh’s remarks as his show is broadcast from West Palm Beach.

No word yet on whether Allred will seek the criminal prosecution of NJ Governor Chris Christie for calling a law student an "idiot."

Posted by Adam Kolber on March 10, 2012 at 05:17 AM | Permalink


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@sugar huddle: I hate to even go there, but the answer is no, she did not. http://www.buzzfeed.com/boxofficebuz/transcript-of-testimony-by-sandra-fluke-48z2

Posted by: Jon Weinberg | Mar 12, 2012 9:27:12 AM

I didn't realized that Eugene had discussed the statute. Here is the link:

Posted by: Adam Kolber | Mar 11, 2012 5:49:34 PM

I believe Volokh has already explained that this statute is facially invalid because it proscribes only calling into question the chastity of women. Rather than extend a criminal statute to include questioning the chastity of men, it's far more likely that the courts would just toss the whole thing.

Of course, Allred, who is an attention-whore is there ever was one, could care less about the law.

Posted by: Douglas | Mar 11, 2012 1:05:37 PM

Sorry, I despise Rush and his words, but hasn't Fluke testified that she is indeed wanting in chastity? The statute doesn't say imputing promiscuity. Falsely imputing want of chastity would simply mean stating an unmarried woman is not a virgin when in fact she is, or a married woman is unfaithful, right?

Posted by: sugar huddle | Mar 11, 2012 12:43:47 PM


And if this were ever actually taken seriously (and consistent with the suggestion implied by your comment), would there not be a different women's equal rights organization prepared to challenge a law specifically designed to protect a woman's reputation for chastity?

Posted by: Adam Kolber | Mar 11, 2012 7:24:57 AM

Which constitutional argument do you think Limbaugh's attorney will make first: Equal Protection or free speech?

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Mar 10, 2012 2:17:34 PM

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