Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Rose by Any Other Name

Second District Court Judge Alan Malott is most likely not even interested in what anyone wants to call themselves in this county but it is the duty of a officer of the court system to place limits on how one individual can twist a system designed to help people to provoke specific individuals in this state. The local press does have the right to refuse to print offense language and pictures within its pages. In this case freedom of speech comes into conflict with freedom of the press both of which are major constitutional issues.

If the individual in questions wants to start their own newspaper, create a website or just stand out on the corner in a public place and scream such language there is little to stop them but because they are trying to force their poor language on to a company run by another individual they cross the line of free enterprise and the freedom of the press. No court should be allowed to force a newspaper in this country to print something that would offend their readers. Not that many people read those dead tree newspapers in this state any longer.

As for denying the name change request if it is linked to the ability to publish the name change request then there is a clear and present problem with the law because Bernalillo County has a very limited number of newspapers due to the decline in publishing companies. The local newspaper should not be the factor that determines where or not a name is acceptable. It is clear in the language of the law that if one county does not have a newspaper then the nearest one could be used so why not also a website. Clearly the law in this case has not been corrected as to reflex the current issues of limited sources of hard copy publishing. In a larger city with more papers there should be at least one that would be willing to publish offense material such as this individual’s desired name. Perhaps the state legislature should consider changing the law to say either a newspaper or a website that reaches individuals within the county.