When I was a child, I remember being taught the importance of our rights in the Constitution of
America in my school. We were all taught as Americans that we had the right to free speech in
the First Amendment. As an adult, I have come to the conclusion that our judicial system in
America is no longer respecting our right to freedom of speech. Judges are allowed to put
Americans in jail for exercising their freedom of speech nowadays, and I have to question why
are they allowed to violate the First Amendment.
My son is being denied his right to freedom of speech in his Appeal, because the judge didn’t
like what he wrote. This judge in Martinsville is trying to put my son in jail for words that he
wrote in his appeal, simply because the judge felt insulted. Is this judge living in reality? I ran a
YouTube channel for about 13 years, and I was constantly getting insulted, criticized and some
people cursed in their comments. If I had the power of a judge, then I could have put them all in
jail for insulting me. Furthermore, if we all had that power, then I believe that every American
would eventually end up in jail for insulting someone, whether deliberate or not.
My son was served by a Virginia Sheriff on Monday in the city of Martinsville. His crime
according to the Rule to Show Cause was stated as “insulting language to judge; contempt”.
Furthermore, the document stated “criminal contempt for vile, contemptuous or insulting
language addressed to or published of a judge for or in respect to any act or proceeding had in
such court with respect to the attached notices of appeal”. The clerk checked a box that said
“be imprisoned, fined or otherwise punished for”.
It is my opinion that this judge is violating American’s right to the First Amendment, which states
that we all have the right to free exercise, abridging the freedom of speech. The following
paragraph is the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of
the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
According to the Political Investigations website, the right to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances allows us to make complaints against public officials or to criticize them
when malpractice is shown with evidence. The top of the article Redress of Grievances says,
“NOTE: Redress of grievances refers to the legitimate expectation by a citizen in a democratic
society that complaints against public officials will be considered fairly and impartially and that
legal remedies for wrongs will be available where malpractice be revealed.”. (Website Link:
Patrick Henry once lived in this area of Virginia, and many places in Martinsville are named after
this historical figure that argued for a bill of rights to be included in our U.S. Constitution. In
1788, Patrick Henry realized that the Constitution did not include a bill of rights when it was sent
to Virginia for ratification. It was Patrick Henry and other Anti-Federalists that compelled James
Madison to promise an addition of a bill of rights to our Constitution. In 1791, 10 amendments
were added to our U.S. Constitution, which became known as the Bill of Rights.
It is my opinion that a charge of Contempt of Court for “insulting language” is a violation of our
First Amendment right to freedom of speech and our right as Americans to “petition the
Government for a redress of grievances”. We as Americans should have the right to freedom of
speech, no mater whether a judge believes they are being insulted. That is my perspective on
our First Amendment rights and how the court of law is violating our freedom of speech. What
do you think about Contempt of Court in relation to our First Amendment right of free speech?
Are the courts violating our right to freedom of speech?
Roberta Ruth Hill