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Supreme Court denies blogger’s petition for rehearing

August 5, 2014

The Indiana Supreme Court will not reconsider its decision affirming Daniel Brewington’s intimidation convictions, which arose from inflammatory posts on a blog that threatened a judge.

The justices in May unanimously affirmed intimidation and obstruction of justice convictions in Daniel Brewington v. State of Indiana, 15S01-1405-CR-309. At the center of the case are posts on family court blogs in which Brewington took aim at Dearborn Circuit Judge James Humphrey, who presided in his custody case, Humphrey’s wife, and a psychologist who served as a custody evaluator in Brewington’s custody case. The posts for which Brewington was prosecuted included comments that Humphrey was a child abuser for stripping Brewington of custody, and that Humphrey was playing with fire and Brewington was “an accomplished pyromaniac.”

The case drew national attention for its First Amendment implications.

In June, Brewington pro se, sought rehearing by the justices and also wanted Justice Loretta Rush to disqualify herself. He based the request on a 1998 home invasion in which Rush and her husband had been victimized by a former ward of the state to whom Rush years earlier had been a guardian ad litem. Brewington questioned whether she could be impartial.

On July 31, Rush declined to disqualify herself from the case, to which the other justices concurred.

“Having carefully considered the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct, including but not limited to Rules 1.1, 1.2, 2.4, and 2.11 and all the Judicial Canons in view of Appellant’s motion, I respectfully find no basis to recuse or disqualify myself from the Court’s further deliberations,” Rush wrote in the order.

The full court also denied Brewington’s petition for rehearing that same day. 

 

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