NOTE: The article excerpted on this page is from an outside publication and is posted on FIRE's website because it references FIRE's work. The viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily represent FIRE's positions.
The Daily Caller
Tennessee made headlines last week with news about a new law that will introduce criminal penalties for posting online images that “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”
Now the law, passed by both houses of the state’s legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, is under review by the state’s attorney general to ensure that it would not violate citizens’ First Amendment rights.
The primary sponsor of the legislation, state Democratic Rep. Charles Curtiss, told The Daily Caller Thursday that, “We have heard the concerns.”
Curtiss informed TheDC, “To ensure that it does only apply as intended, we have asked for an attorney general opinion on the matter.”
The attorney general’s office will presumably offer an opinion before the law is scheduled to take effect on July 1.
“The bill was drawn by our attorneys to only apply to very limited circumstances of severe cases of cyberbullying in which the local District Attorney would have to initiate, not an individual as some have suggested,” Curtiss noted. “The bill was vetted through the committee process and amended before being overwhelmingly passed in a bi-partisan vote...