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Meaning of identity theft key to appeal in Palin case

Staff Report • Dec 17, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The case of a Democratic state senator's son accused of perusing the contents of a conservative Republican vice presidential candidate's e-mail account is making for strange political bedfellows.

David C. Kernell, whose father, Mike Kernell, is a longtime Memphis Democrat, is citing conservative Republican ideology against big government in trying to persuade a Knoxville federal judge to toss out identity theft charges filed against him. The charges are in connection with the tapping into the personal e-mail account of Sarah Palin, then Alaska governor and running mate of Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

Citing an article in the New York Times, Kernell's attorney, Wade Davies, notes that conservatives increasingly believe "the criminal justice system is an aspect of big government that must be contained." So, too, do their liberal counterparts, Davies wrote. Conservative and liberal commentators have begun to agree that the federal government has "overcriminalized" various forms of human conduct, he wrote. "This case presents an instance of such overcriminalization extending even beyond what Congress has authorized."

Read the full report at the Knoxville News Serninel Web site.

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