COMMENTARY | The Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke kerfuffle took a turn for the surreal when Gloria Allred, a celebrity lawyer, wrote a letter to the Palm Beach County state attorney demanding Limbaugh be prosecuted under an obscure Florida statute, according to Politico.
The law is Section 837.04, which states, "Whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree." Punishment is up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, examined the law and suggests what Limbaugh called Fluke likely does not apply. He further suggests the law almost certainly violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution since it does not apply equally to men.
Very likely Allred knows this and is not entirely serious about wanting Limbaugh prosecuted and hauled away to a Florida jail for bad mouthing a student/political activist. The intent is likely to garner public relations, to get Allred's face on TV again to explain why Limbaugh is a bad person and that smearing women is a bad thing -- unless, of course, that woman is Sarah Palin or some other conservative woman.
It has been months since Allred helped to take down the presidential candidacy of Herman Cain by representing Sharon Bialek, who had a dubious claim of sexual harassment against the former Godfather's Pizza CEO.
This latest gambit on the part of Allred proves even she can jump the shark and venture from the outrageous into the bizarre. It is telling that, at least of this writing, Fluke is not a client of Allred's.
One wonders if, instead of having Allred as a guest to talk about her latest legal campaign, the cable news networks ignored her. Such restraint might discourage this sort of thing from happening so frequently. Sadly cable news is not likely to exercise such restraint.
- Gloria Allred