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Trial Begins for Grieving Father Jailed for Making Social Media Posts about Judge Who Took Away His Now-Deceased Son

Jonathan Vanderhagen, 35, faces charges of malicious use of a telecommunications device after exposing a judge on social media who took away his son, placed the child in his mother’s care, which ultimately resulted in the child’s untimely death. The trial officially began on Friday.

“Today’s trial is the limitless money, power, and privilege of the crown vs. Jonathan Vanderhagen and the 1st amendment. Your thoughts and prayers please,” Vanderhagen’s lawyer Nicholas Somberg wrote in a Facebook post before the trial started.

The prosecutors are arguing that Vanderhagen’s First Amendment rights are effectively null and void because family-court Judge Rachel Rancilio felt intimidated by his posts exposing her record. Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Rittinger is using the “fire in a crowded theater” trope to justify this constitutional infringement in court.

Read the full story from Big League Politics

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