Law \ Legal

The Onion to Supreme Court: Prosecution for Satire Is No Joke



Anthony Novak, a Parma, Ohio, area man who was prosecuted and spent four days in jail over a Facebook page he created in 2016 that mocked his local police department, has received help from the satirical website, “The Onion,” in his fight to claim his civil rights were violated.  The website has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court in support of his argument, reports Eduardo Medina for the New York Times.

While a jury eventually found Novak not guilty, he says his civil rights were violated and is attempting to sue the city for damages. In its filing to the Supreme Court, The Onion relied on its trademark satire to argue why it believes the authorities in Ohio acted unconstitutionally, with one chapter heading entitled “It Should Be Obvious That Parodists Cannot Be Prosecuted for Telling a Joke with a Straight Face.”


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