Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Government May Not Muzzle Its Critics

Let alone with its employers' money. Seems self-evident, doesn't it? One might even be forgiven for presuming that the 1st Amendment and Right-to-Know prohibited it. Even by "mutual agreement" -- because the taxpayers don't have a seat at the settlement table.

Government can't hide its (effectively admitted) transgressions. Your servants shouldn't ever be able to unjustly attempt to destroy your life, and then, as a condition of ceasing and desisting its reckless lawlessness, compel your silence on the matter. It must not have the option of escaping public accountability for its actions. Ever.

Ever.

You are the employer. You are the taxpayer. However many "bags of money" there are, you're on the hook for the damage that ostensibly warranted their distribution. You were obliged to fill them. You have a duty to understand fully what your servants are perpetrating in your name and on your dime. You are the only sure remedy to more bags getting distributed in the future. You have every right to know the particulars empirically conceded with the settlement by your servants. Government doesn't get to buy silence regarding its abuses with (your) money. A guaranteed silence that only encourages more abuse -- of you as taxpayer, and of you as potential target. "More difficult settlements" is a good thing if it encourages government not to put itself in that position in the first place.

And I'm fairly confident actionable slander and libel statutes will survive, so...

HB154, "prohibiting non-disparagement clauses in settlement agreements involving a governmental unit", before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 5/14/2019, is such a stipulation. And evidently the NHDoJ agrees. Sunlight is the best disinfectant...




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