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Justices look to set arguments in Rockport, blogger’s intimidation cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court may hold arguments in September on the case involving the controversial Rockport coal gasification plant as well as on the case of a Dearborn County man who was convicted of intimidation of a judge based on online rants.

The arguments in Daniel Brewington v. State of Indiana, 15A01-1110-CR-550, are to decide whether the justices should take the case. Justices granted transfer to the Rockport case, Indiana Gas Company, et al. v. Indiana Regulatory Commission, 93S02-1306-EX-00407, on June 6.

Supreme Court Public Information Office Kathryn Dolan said the Supreme Court Administration office is working on setting arguments in both cases, potentially for September. She noted that justices have not officially granted transfer to Brewington.

Transfer to the Supreme Court in the Rockport plant case was expected after the Indiana General Assembly deferred to the Indiana Supreme Court in Senate Enrolled Act 494. The legislation came after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an Indiana Regulatory Commission order approving a contract that would have funded the Rockport plant with guaranteed prices above current market rates for the substitute natural gas it would create.

The Brewington case has garnered attention on First Amendment issues. Daniel Brewington was originally convicted of intimidation on claims he threatened Dearborn Circuit Judge James Humphrey, Humphrey’s wife and a custody evaluator working in Brewington’s divorce case. But the Court of Appeals in January only upheld the intimidation conviction related to the judge.

Amicus parties to the case argue that if that conviction stands, some criticism of legislators, judges and others – whether by newspapers, advocacy groups or other citizens, would be punishable.

Brewington wrote numerous online rants on his blog after Humphrey’s 2009 order that separated him from his children, including saying that a judge who would do that was a child abuser.

The state maintains that Brewington’s speech isn’t protected because his communications were truly threatening to the judge.
 

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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