Free speech, judges, and Facebook

A Special Court of Review appointed by the Texas Supreme Court recently dismissed all charges against Judge Michelle Slaughter of the Texas 405th District Court in Galveston. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct previously had issued a public admonition about Judge Slaughter’s use of Facebook to inform the public of proceedings in her court. The case raises a host of interesting questions about free speech, the elected judiciary, comments by judges on pending cases, and the use of social media by judges. A link to the full opinion is available here. (Disclaimer: I served as an expert witness on behalf of Judge Slaughter regarding the first amendment issues presented by the case.)