I’m all for catching the bad guys out there, but this goes too far. As you can see in the above video, the guy who recorded police in public was charged with eavesdropping and faced up to 75 years in jail. He won the initial case – the local judge dismissed it, citing that the Illinois law was unconstitutional (this should be a complete no-brainer here).
The Illinois legislature and attorney general are apparently idiots though, because the case is being appealed in an effort overturn the lower court’s dismissal. I was a little shocked at Judge Posner’s comments that were highlighted in the above video, as he’s recognized as one of the sharper appellate judges on the bench today. I have to believe that those comments were taken somewhat out of context.
In 2011, I can’t believe we are still dealing with such nonsensical applications of eavesdropping laws in light of the First Amendment. The First Circuit Court of Appeals put a resounding slap to such abuse in the Glik case from earlier this year. I can’t imagine that the Seventh Circuit could end up with any other result.
I’ll be following this one and post updates when I hear more.