Legal Theory

Pitts: Constitution Protects Pedophile

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Jack McClellan is a reprehensible freak, says Leonard Pitts. A self-admitted California pedophile, McClellan puts parents on edge by talking publicly about how he likes to look at little girls.

He’s also upset a California judge, who recently issued a temporary injunction ordering him to stay at least 10 yards away from all children in the state, as an earlier post discusses. But because McClellan hasn’t actually done anything except talk about his sexual interest in underage girls, he hasn’t done anything illegal, Pitts points out in a Miami Herald column. And that means several recent arrests of McClellan, for trespassing and violating the restraining order, violate the First Amendment, he contends.

“Californians should publicize McClellan’s face and fetish until every child in the state knows to run, screaming, on sight. Put up fliers, organize online,” writes Pitts. “But they ought not prosecute him for what he has only said. … You think it’s terrible that a man can say such things? I agree. Indeed the only thing more terrible would be if we lived in a country where he could not.”

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