It’s not really breaking news at this point to note when Sen. Stanley Jason Rapert (R-Douchebagistan), makes a declaratory statement about the law that is, for lack of a better phrase, mindnumbingly incorrect. We’ve seen it time and time (and time and time) again.
That said, every now and then, he manages to say something so wrong that I can’t help myself but comment. Case in point:
A few things:
- Contrary to the Wye Mountain Voldemort’s1 assertion, defamation is NOT a criminal act in Arkansas. There was a (likely unconstitutional) slander statute on the books at one point, it was repealed by Act 1994 of 2005.
- If it were “a criminal act,” as Stan Van Grundle suggests, there would be no need for his attorneys2 to contact the guy who posted the original comment. He (with or without his attorneys) should file a police report or a complaint with the prosecutor’s office in the appropriate county. You’d think someone as learned in the law as he is would know that.
- Even if Captain Vaginal Probe figured out that defamation is not a criminal act and decided to sue the original poster in civil court, J-Rape would still be out of luck. As a public figure, he would have to show that the original comment was made with actual malice, which is an exceptionally high burden. Moreover, he would also have to show that he suffered actual damages that were traceable to this comment. In the meantime, CanonBeyReed would be able to engage in discovery into the charity’s books and expenditures, as well as Rapey’s personal finances and any ties between the charity and other entities over which Rapert has control. That could be exciting!
Occasionally, I wonder if the Undistinguished Gentleman from Bigelow will finally stop making statements about the law, if only to avoid the ongoing mockery from actual lawyers.
Then I recall that he is not possessed of that kind of self awareness. So, for better or worse, we’ll probably have this kind of material for the foreseeable future. Good thing he rarely passes actual laws, I guess.
UPDATE: At some point today, the Bigelow Blumpkin clarified his comment:
Oh…did I say “clarified”? I meant “talked out of his ass in a particularly stupid manner about.” Let’s unpack this follow-up comment:
- It wasn’t “early.” His threat to CanonBeyReed was tweeted at 11:57pm. This is a moose knuckle who routine tweets, posts, and emails folks well after midnight.
- It’s not “illegal,” either. Know how I know? Because, if you defame someone and they don’t sue you, the state does not get involved in any way. It’s a civil matter. The same illegal actions can constitute a tort, such as when someone is tried for murder and also sued civilly for wrongful death, but most torts are merely civil wrongs, not illegal acts, and this particular situation is no different.
This guy…seriously. He makes me suspect that he’s so anti-abortion only because he knows that he should’ve been aborted.