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JUDGE SAYS PAPARAZZI LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL

November 15, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

A new California law aimed a celebrity-chasing paparazzi was ruled constitutionally “problematical” by a Los Angeles judge as he tossed out two charges against a photographer who allegedly chased Justin Bieber on a freeway at speeds approaching 100 mph. The photographer, Paul Raef, was the first person charged under the law, passed two years age. In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson said that the law would appear to restrict news-gathering activities protected under the First Amendment. Lawmakers, he said, ought to have increased the penalties for reckless driving instead of targeting the press. That was a point made by Raef’s attorney, David Kestenbaum. “You can’t single out a single part of society and say that person can be punished more because of what their occupation is,” Kestenbaum told reporters. The law, he said, “was written with input from entertainment law firms in Los Angeles, signed by a governor [Arnold Schwarzenegger] who used to be — or I guess now is again — an actor.”