Tag Archives: nixon

Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of TN Law Targeting Online Sex Ads

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a Tennessee law passed last year that targets online sex ads violates free speech rights.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/136AxGB) cited an opinion written by Judge John T. Nixon that says the law is written in a way that infringes on freedom of speech and interstate commerce laws. The purpose of the law is to protect children from sex trafficking.
The issue went to court when Backpage.com filed a lawsuit alleging the new regulation violated the First Amendment and other federal protections. Backpage.com publishes millions of ads each month, including those that sell adult services, and said it would be impossible to screen every ad posted to its site and the law hurt its business.
Nixon granted the company’s request for a temporary restraining order against the law.
Antoinette Welch, assistant district attorney in Nashville, said websites like Backpage are used in a majority of sex trafficking case prosecuted by the district attorney general’s office.
“The websites are helping to promote something illegal, and children and women are being sold on their sites,” Welch said. “They should be held responsible, fined at the very least.

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Judges Uphold Extra Long Sentence for Threatening a Judge

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the five-year sentence of a man who sent threatening letters to a federal judge in Nashville — including one that contained a white powder substance that was ultimately determined to be artificial sweetener.
Further from The Tennessean:
Herbert Wilfred Nixon sent the letters to Senior Judge Thomas Wiseman after Wiseman sentenced him to three years in prison for credit card fraud in 2002.
“The unsigned letters demanded money and threatened the judge’s life,” according to the 6th Circuit opinion written by Judge Raymond M. Kethledge. Nixon pleaded guilty to making a false threat involving a biological weapon.
While federal sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 30 to 37 months, U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes Jr. sentenced Nixon to 60 months.
Nixon argued that the sentence was unreasonable, but the three-judge appellate panel upheld it, citing factors including Nixon’s criminal history and the fact that his hoax “required the government to spend resources responding to a bio-hazard threat and were meant to terrorize a district judge and his staff.”