Saturday, August 5, 2023

Quote of the Day (Samuel Buell, on Tony Soprano and the First Amendment)

“Tony Soprano can’t invoke the First Amendment for telling his crew he wants someone whacked.”— Duke University law professor and former Enron prosecutor Samuel Buell, quoted by Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, “First Amendment is Likely Linchpin of Trump Defense,” The New York Times, Aug. 3, 2023

What a concept: Tony, Paulie Walnuts, Silvio, and the rest of the crew as First Amendment defenders. It looks like they’re about to go defending their constitutional rights in this picture, doesn’t it?

Don’t be surprised if that involves baseball bats, knives, chemical sprays, axes, and other instruments you’re unlikely to find in a town square.

Oh, wait: some of those same objects showed up at the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol in DC!

In keeping with the link between a New Jersey figure (the real-life one has a golf course in Tony Soprano’s state) and criminal conspiracies, the object of Prof. Buell’s quote tweeted yesterday, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

This came only a day after the judge in the case involving “The Former Guy” issued this extraordinary warning: “It is a crime to try to influence a juror or to threaten or attempt to bribe a witness or any other person who may have information about your case, or to retaliate against anyone for providing information about your case to the prosecution, or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.”

(Thanks to my friend Rob for alerting me to Buell’s apropos quote.)

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