WILL A JUDGE’S FAILURE TO RECUSE
SILENCE BERKELEY’S “RIGHT TO KNOW”?
The long battle over cell phone consumer labels, with a hidden twist of legal super heroes and questions about a Ninth Circuit Court judge’s failure to recuse herself.
A battle over free speech in Berkeley, California has pitted the city of Berkeley against the mighty telecommunications trade group, CTIA – The Wireless Association. Berkeley stands on the First Amendment argument they have a right to inform consumers of certain precautions the FCC already requires in the back of cell phone user’s manuals.
A verdict is expected shortly from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and proponents of Berkeley’s Right to Know consumer notices are growing increasingly concerned about Judge Michelle T. Friedland’s circuitous connection to the CTIA. Supporters of the Right to Know ordinance worry the judge’s husband, Dan Kelly, has links to four members of the CTIA that could jeopardize Berkeley’s fight for the right to speak freely.
Berkeley’s City Council has fought for six years for the right to inform consumers in Berkeley about cell phone usage safety information. Until Berkeley’s unanimous passage of the Right to Know ordinance on May 12, 2015, this information about keeping distance between the cell phone and the body had been hidden in small print in owner’s manuals, or deep within the phone.
The passage of this consumer notice in easy to understand language triggered a forceful response from the CTIA which has threatened legal action against every city and state over the past seven years that has attempted to pass similar right to know legislation.
In the CTIA’s corner is former solicitor general Theodore Olson, the man widely credited with helping George W. Bush win the White House. See link for more: BREAKING NEWS by Susan Foster on Conflict of Interest in the Berkeley’s “right to know”