Well, our friend Lottakatz has certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest. Various posters on the blog have contacted me about the sudden surge of over 100 votes on Legal Satyricon to take it from just 15 votes to the lead in the ABA competition. There was a surge of over 100 votes in less than an hour. I have discouraged (and even deleted) a few postings on the issue to keep the matter civil. After all, this is just a fun distraction for bloggers and we tend to have more fun than most. However, with some sleuthing, Lottakatz appears to have found a campaign of misinformation on pro-gun sites where an alleged regular on LS claims that I am a leading anti-gun advocate. The false representation promptly made opposition to our blog as cause celebre for gun rights advocates. Given the emails from our regulars, I wanted to address the controversy.
As the poster must have been aware, I am not an opponent to constitutional gun rights. Indeed, regardless of my personal views on forms of gun control, I agreed with the historical and textual analysis in decisions like McDonald. While I felt this was a close interpretive issue and that the dissenting justices made a compelling case, I felt that the plain meaning of the amendment favored individual gun rights. For prior columns, click here and here. I am a gun owner (a shotgun I have used for skeet shooting for twenty years). I feel like I am competing against Bristol Palin and no one is looking at our actual dancing.
The misinformation was clearly an effort to generate votes and cites the need to support the more conservative editors at LS and Volokh Conspiracy. I certainly do not mind regulars on other blogs flogging for votes. I do not even mind the ideological arguments for support. We are obviously more liberal than VC which is probably the leading conservative site in the country. I do not know a lot about LS. After posting on this blog, I have very little time to surf other blogs. This is the description from the ABA:
The Legal Satyricon, aka Marc Randazza, seems to have handed over more of his blogging duties to the “Satriyconistas” of late. But the content still consistently alternates between refreshingly blunt posts on First Amendment issues and frat-boy humor.
I really do not know the politics or ideological character of the blog. Moreover, flogging one’s blog is a natural and commendable action by loyal regulars. However, a campaign of misinformation is beyond the pale of any competition.
Having said that, I appreciate everyone keeping this civil. I think that ABA does a great service in highlighting top legal blogs and nothing can protect a competition from such shenanigans. We have a great blog that combines thoughtful discussions of legal and political issues with a commitment to civility. That makes us something of a standout among the blogs. It could be worse. I could have been denounced as a war criminal or White Sox fan. Besides, my Bears ARE THE DIVISION CHAMPS. The world cannot be hopelessly dark and evil when God reaches down and leads the Bears to the triumph over the Vikings yesterday. He even arranged for the a total lunar eclipse to fall on the winter solstice (the first time in 372 years) to signal his choice for the Superbowl.
We are on our way to Chicago today in a van with four kids and a large dog. Our guest bloggers will be contributing over the holiday, which I hope is safe and relaxing for everyone — gun right advocates and gun opponents alike.