#MeToo Restraining Orders Petitioned by Politicians This Month

Posted on March 25, 2018


Some recent posts on this blog concerned a frivolous restraining order granted to Warrenton, Virginia Vice Mayor Sunny Reynolds. Curious, I took a look to see whether this was a one-off among politicians.

It wasn’t.

This post looks at other restraining orders petitioned at the people’s expense by representatives of the people (all women)—reported in one month (March 2018). The majority seem to concern disruptions of public speeches. Of note, especially considering the plaintiffs are representatives of government, is that at least one of the orders is patently unconstitutional.

From the various news stories digested below, my favorite quotation was this: “It’s hard to keep track of who is driving this clown car.

Republican Congresswoman Tarah Toohil was granted a three-year restraining order against fellow Republican state representative Nick Miccarelli, both of Pennsylvania, after alleging he abused and threatened to kill her during a relationship six years prior. Miccarelli, who was stripped of a badge that allows lawmakers to swipe into the Capitol complex and must enter with the general public through a metal detector, is being criminally investigated based on Toohil’s claims and those of another woman who prefers to remain anonymous.

Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, a candidate for governor of New Mexico, was granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a former intern, Riley Del Rey, a transgender woman who alleges her termination was discrimination-based. Del Rey interrupted a Mar. 11 political speech, for which she was jailed, and was alleged to have “barged into a room” and “disrupted” a different event the month previous. A criminal investigation is pending in this case, which already required that Del Rey keep her distance from Lujan Grisham. The TRO was consequently tossed.

Cape Coral, Florida Mayor Marni Sawicki was granted a restraining order against her ex-husband, Ken Retzer. The only reported allegation was that he was “previously accused of attacking the one-term mayor last year during a conference in Miami.”

Florida Democratic Sen. Lauren Book was granted a permanent restraining order against Derek Logue for political speech (i.e., an unlawful prior restraint). Logue reportedly heckled Book at public events and published criticisms of her on Twitter and YouTube that included obscene words. (“Logue posted a video on Twitter entitled ‘You are a C**t,’” reports writer Peter Schorsch on the website Florida Politics, “that included lyrics saying he would ‘f**k up [Book’s] face.’” Schorsch also reports “[t]hat video was deemed a credible threat to Book’s safety by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.” The quoted lyrics are plainly those of Australian singer-songwriter Kat McSnatch, whose performance of the song is viewable here, and if Logue only linked to McSnatch’s video, the finding of “credible threat” by law enforcement, the court, and, most deplorably, Schorsch, is absurd.)

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*In an instance of the people’s getting theirs back, the ex-husband of a woman said to have had an affair with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who was reportedly indicted in February on the charge of felony invasion of privacy for taking a nude photo of the woman without her permission in 2015, is seeking a restraining order against Greitens, a retired Navy SEAL, on the grounds he feels intimidated by him.