The ACLU said in a release that the now-deleted Facebook page was "a clear exercise of free speech."
In the letter to the Attorney General, RIACLU Executive Director Steven Brown said that the continued criminal investigation into what he called political satire “can only cast a pall over the exercise of First Amendment rights and the lawful ability of members of the public to criticize or caricature public officials.”
“While it may be discourteous and even offensive, the Facebook page is not by any stretch of the imagination a criminal enterprise,” the letter continued. “Satirizing public officials, however coarsely, constitutes a well-worn application of free speech rights.”
The ACLU noted that public officials are satirized online, and on televisions and newsstands every day, and that the courts have set a very high standard for public officials to pursue even civil actions against political criticism.
Given the First Amendment implications of a criminal investigation into any protected political speech, the ACLU said any need for additional review of this case should be categorically rejected, and called on the AG to immediately close the case.
A copy of the letter is available at www.riaclu.org.