State Representative John Lesch says he’ll introduce a bill to protect domestic violence survivors, after the state Court of Appeals ruled Minnesota’s law prohibiting stalking-by-telephone is overly broad and unconstitutional. The decision was in a Rice County case where a man left angry phone messages for government officials. Representative Lesch says, “I think there is a different level of free speech protections when you are speaking to a government official than if you’re just speaking to another individual.”
The Appeals Court said Jason Elliot Peterson’s behavior was upsetting and inappropriate, but the state can’t prohibit it by “criminalizing a substantial amount of protected speech in an overly broad statute.”
Lesch, a Saint Paul Democrat, says there are the votes in the Minnesota House to pass his bill.