It only took a couple of CNN appearances by both parties, but Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is no longer defending his Andrew Shirvell’s First Amendment right to be a dick to gay college student Chris Armstrong. Cox suspended the assistant attorney general. Why the 180 after saying he wouldn’t punish Shirvell? Update: Shirvell’s exit is now being called a “voluntary leave of absence.”
Because, Cox says, he hadn’t read all of Shirvell’s web ramblings on Chris Armstrong Watch, the blog devoted to attacking the gay 21-year-old University of Michigan student assembly president. Says Cox now: “I’m at fault here. I’ve been saying for weeks that (Shirvell’s) been acting like a bully, that his behavior is immature, but it’s after-hours and protected by the First Amendment.”
But that wasn’t his only comments Thursday night. Others were aimed at former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who tweeted: “If I was still Attorney General and Andrew Shirvell worked for me, he would have already been fired.” Responds Cox: “I don’t know why she’s so freaking irresponsible. … she went to Harvard Law School. The civil service rules are a huge shield for free speech and she knows that.”
Interestingly, Armstrong is still remaining silent, perhaps at the advice of counsel; he’s seeking legal protection from Shirvell, who has a tendency not just to troll his Facebook but to show up outside his home. Shirvell is banned from UMich’s campus and is under investigation by campus police for stalking.
Five seconds until the Liberty Counsel takes up Shirvell’s case and launches a First Amendment suit … 4 … 3 … 2 …