I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Conclusions drawn from those penumbras emanating within the commenting guidelines

I’ve been thinking about adding a new rule to the commenting guidelines, but then went back and re-read the existing guidelines, and decided (following as my precedent Griwsold v. Connecticut) that the rule I wish to declare is certainly suggested or implied (or something) by the existing guidelines. And so I’m going to announce an interpretation of those guidelines. And, since this is a common law blog, I’ll point out that this interpretation has always been there, it just hasn’t been articulated yet.

Here goes: The existing guidelines give me sole interpretive authority in deciding whether a comment violates the guidelines. And the existing guidelines provide that repetition violates the guidelines. So I’ve granted myself the authority to deal with anyone who says the same thing over and over again.

Here comes the fancy footwork, logic-wise: A comment that completely lacks coherence has no content. Therefore any two comprehensible comments have the same content-value of zero. Anyone who makes two incomprehensible comments has obviously said the same thing in both comments. (that is, nothing). SO they are repeating themselves and therefore violating the commenting guideline against boring us with repetition.

I will consider excercising discretion and forgiving (to steal a phrase from Clive Stafford Smith, who used it to describe another lawyer’s briefs) inspired gibberish. But henceforth, when anyone comments twice in a thread or twice in any day and my reaction is “What???”, I will consider setting that person to moderated status, or in extreme cases, simply cancel their priveleges altogether.

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