OK IN THE 8TH: Remember when Little Rock cops arrested John Walker after he tried to photograph a traffic stop (his camera actually wasn't working.) The charge eventually was dropped but a recent 8th Circuit decision gave cops cover for such arrests.

It’s been clear for some times that the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, once a beacon for civil rights led by such judicial giants as Gerald Heaney, is now stacked with agenda conservatives who affirm “liberal” causes such as women’s medical rights only when there’s no way around the prevailing precedent.

This cinches it.


In a free speech ruling that contradicts six other federal circuit courts, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court ruling that says Americans do not have a first amendment right to videotape the police, or any public official, in public.

The 8th Circuit covers Arkansas. It’s chief judge, Lavenski Smith, is an Arkansan. Neither he nor another bench member from Arkansas, Bobby Shepherd, were a part of the panel that issued this ruling. Perhaps they’ll get to weigh in on the motion for reconsideration.

Until then, residents of Arkansas and the rest of the circuit lack the first amendment right to report (record) on public activities of police afforded everyone else in the U.S. Sad!