Fluvanna Blogger Wins Free Speech Case Against County

Blogger Brian Rothamel has won his lawsuit against Fluvanna County over his use of the county seal, Sharon Fitzgerald writes for the Daily Progress. He brought a suit against the county back in January, courtesy of the Rutherford Institute, after they adopted a law prohibiting anybody from using their seal for any reason. The ordinance appeared to have been passed specifically to prevent Rothamel from illustrating stories about county business with the seal on FlucoBlog. (In the first few years of this site, I displayed the Charlottesville seal as the icon for news related to city government, just as Rothamel was doing for Fluvanna government news.) Federal Judge Norman K. Moon issued an injuction against the county to prevent them from continuing to enforce the law, writing that “the deprivation of Rothamel’s First Amendment freedoms easily outweighs whatever burden the injunction imposes on the county.”

The Progress article doesn’t include any quotes from members of the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors. I certainly hope that somebody gets their respond on the record. The law was unconstitutional on its face, and now that they’ve been smacked down by a federal judge, they’ve got some explaining to do.

3 Responses to “Fluvanna Blogger Wins Free Speech Case Against County”


  • Waldo- Do you know what that cute little building is on the Fluvanna Seal?
    Seals can be like vanity plates, the meaning of a seal’s signs and symbols is often shrouded in mystery.
    Ih8dat

  • Sec. 2-7-1. Adoption of County Seal.
    The seal of Fluvanna County is hereby adopted to be the seal currently in use by the County. The seal consists of a picture of the historic former Point of Fork Arsenal showing the Fluvanna River in the background with a branch from a persimmon tree above it in a circle, surrounded by the words “FLUVANNA COUNTY VIRGINIA—1777”. The seal shall still constitute the seal whether in black and white,
    color or other hue or tone combination and regardless of the size, character or medium in which the same shall be depicted. (Ord. 9-15-10)

  • Interesting—I never knew what that was.

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