This post introduces a new feature of this blog: “Quickie News.” Because I’m a lawyer and have to be precise with my language, I should explain that by “Quickie News” I mean a very brief post to inform my readers of some science/skeptical/legal news when I don’t have time for a lengthy, explanatory post. I don’t mean news about couples engaging in short-lived coitus.
For some of the Quickie News posts, I’ll try to write a full, explanatory post later on. I may, as I will do here, add a “quickie analysis” just to get things going.
The honorable subject of my first Quickie News is the town of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which is being sued for prohibiting psychics from plying their trade within the town limits.
Quickie analysis: The psychics have a good case, especially as to the “prior restraint” on their speech. It’s almost impossible for the government to legally prohibit (enjoin) speech before it happens, as was famously described in the Pentagon Papers case. Authorities would have a much better shot at charging the psychics with a crime or violation of their state’s unfair trade practices law, if they have one.