Monday, March 5, 2007

Cuyahoga Co. Judge Attacks First Amendment

In an absolute affront to one of our most basic and cherished rights, our First Amendment right to free speech, Cuyahoga County Judge David Matia, kicked the scales of justice out the door with Lady Justice following close by.

Judge Matia, in an intellectually vacuous decision, recently barred Channel 5 WEWS from broadcasting a story about Belladerm MediSpa in Westlake, OH.

After Channel 5 WEWS wanted to run a follow up on their original story of Belladerm possibly providing medical care without a license, Belladerm claiming the first broadcast, hurt their business and cost them money, filed suit to block any further broadcasts.

It should be noted that Belladerm was also previously cited by the state for performing outside the limits of their license.

Judge Matia, feeling above the law, did not even bother to have a hearing or the legal counsel for Channel 5 present when he issued his First Amendment smashing restraining order.

Judge Matia nonchalantly dismissed his decision to issue the temporary restraining order postponing the broadcast as no big deal, "Waiting less than 24 hours isn't going to hurt anybody," Matia said. "I don't know what the issue is.

Isn't going to hurt anybody?

Judge Matia, by ignoring the First Amendment, put a businesses profit over the health and welfare of Cuyahoga County residents.

It appears Dr. Matia, sorry, Judge Matia was just to "busy" and felt the residents of Cuyahoga County did not need to be aware of questionable medical practices.

A Democrat, Judge Matia stated - he issued the order at a hectic time, with a capital-murder case going to a jury. Yet Matia said that even in hindsight, he would do nothing differently. "That injunction was tailored for a very short period of time," he said. "They only missed two newscasts."

Are we to assume this means the Judge feels his docket is more important than our rights?

This leads me to believe Judge Matia has no problem ignoring our countries founding documents and basic rights granted to U.S. citizens if he is busy. I would submit that if the Judge is unable to perform the duties and laws he is sworn to adjudicate, he needs to remove himself from the bench immediately.

The ACLU, defenders of the democrats, issued a statement saying Matia was effectively telling the news media they "can report the news only after getting permission."

Completely disgusted about fellow Cuyahoga County democrat Matia's ruling, a local elected democrat who pointed this story out to me, had this to say -
"Yes, it's just one case but the fact that Matia even considered the spa's argument, let alone granted their motion, is mind-boggling."

This long time elected official & member of the Cuyahoga Dem's (who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) further stated, "It is amazing how the democrat voters in Cuyahoga Co. blindly elect any dem served up to them" and "they follow us like sheep being led to slaughter."

WEWS lawyer Louis Colombo notes, "That pre-emptive ruling violates "80 years of Supreme Court precedent." "It's unconstitutional prior restraint," said Colombo.

The Plain Dealer, which rarely speaks ill of the local democrats, questions the intelligence of Matia and the local voters who will blindly continue to vote for him---

David Matia must have skipped class the day his constitutional law professor lectured on the doctrine of prior restraint.

Now, because he has one of those magical names, Matia is an elected Common Pleas judge in Cuyahoga County. And due to the forgiving nature of the county's voters, it's a job he probably can keep for a long time.

But this week, Matia displayed an ignorance of the U.S. Constitution that was simply breathtaking.

Matia thumbed his nose at 76 years' worth of Supreme Court rulings essentially holding that the First Amendment gives the press immunity from such prepublication governmental prohibitions.

And any good story about a judge attacking our First Amendment, must have a shamelessly disgusting attorney to be complete.

In a move certain to add fuel to the perception that some attorneys are vultures, ambulance chasers and rarely have integrity, a local attorney tries to defend the judge and his ruling.

In a shameless display, obviously to curry favor with the judge and distort the facts, David M. Paris, a principal and managing director with Cleveland law firm, Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Co. LPA, writes in his letter to the PD -

I was appalled to read The Plain Dealer's personal attack on his character and intelligence for ordering that a news story be delayed a few hours until the parties could be heard.

The citizens of Cuyahoga County should be thrilled to have David Matia as a judge. He is consistent in his demeanor, thoughtful in his decisions, accessible and considerate of litigants and has as strong a work ethic as anyone on the bench.

But for his devotion to public service, he would certainly be practicing law with one of the city's prominent firms, earning many times his government salary.

(Note to David Paris - Judge Matia's bailiff will have a tissue waiting so you can wipe off your nose.)

Looks like a discreet job offer to me... I sure would hate to be opposing Paris in Matia's courtroom after this letter - in light of this ruling, one can't be so sure it would be impartial.

It is sad when an attorney, disgraces the profession and puts up a simple minded defense to defend a feeble minded ruling.

The last thing the voters of Cuyahoga County need is a judge with consistent demeanor and thoughtfulness that brings him to make decisions with impunity that violate our rights.

One has to wonder if David Paris would be so gracious if Judge Matia showed his firm the same accessibility and consideration he showed Channel 5's attorney by not having a hearing and allowing only the plaintiffs counsel to be present during his ruling.

Judge Matia, will soon be up for re election. Running unopposed in his last race, he won by default.

He might want to keep Paris' number handy for that job offer, as Judge Matia can be confident that this ruling will not be forgotten during his next election!



  1. It's good to know that you are a strong supporter of the First Amendment-free speech- rights.

    No doubt, then, you supported the free-speech rights of those folks who stood on the street corners at the run-up to the preemptive invasion of Iraq. You know, the ones holding the signs, "No War."

    Isn't it great to live in a democracy like ours with this guarantee of freedom of speech without worrying about anybody or group of people jeering or denying this freedom?

    You've got to love living in America.

  2. Being on the opposite end of the spectrum as me in our beliefs, I am glad you commented on this post.

    Yes LD, I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment and all of our rights.

    As they stand with their anti-war signs, I can stand with my Sheehan is a traitor sign.

    I have said many times, Free Speech may not be acceptable speech, or politically correct, etc... But most important is it cannot be silenced and is protected.

    Other than issues of national security, we should be free to say what we want. Obviously, you can't yell fire in a movie theater.

    Unfortunately, with the tilt towards political correctness, this right is more and more being limited by the public.

    Yes, I support the anti-war's right to free speech. I may not agree with their message and find it disgusting, but I will defend their right.

    You and I may be on complete opposite ends in our beliefs, we may find each others stances repulsive, but both sides need to stand together on free speech.

    I do not agree that we are free to say what we want without people jeering. They have the right to jeer and say as they please also.

    Although maybe not you, but many on the left are trying to limit speech to acceptable speech. There is legislation being considered in which a person can be charged with a hate crime if someone "percieves" that they have been offended.

    This very dangerous for both sides. Two women have been charged with hate crimes in PA for citing the bible to homosexuals.

    This can easily be turned against any person as one's perception is defined by the each specific individual person.

    I do think it is sort ofa hypocrisy that while Anne Coulter calls Edwards a faggot and she is villified by the left and some on the right. Yet Bill Maher can express regret over Cheney not dying or he equates God to a serial killer, you hear nothing.

    I ask you is this free speech or selective free speech?


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