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View Diary: FBI Arrests Hal Turner (254 comments)

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  •  I know it's not going to be popular to say around (0+ / 0-)

    here, but I think that this charge will not survive First Amendment scrutiny.  The call to violence must be intended to produce imminent violence per the Supreme Court's holding in Brandenburg v. Ohio.  Hal Turner didn't actually ask people to commit violence.  He stated his opinion that this judge deserves to die, but that in an of itself isn't a threat.  I personally believe that Osama Bin Laden deserves to die, but that doesn't mean that if I saw him on the street, I would attempt to kill him.  I would call the authorities and let the judicial process sort itself out.  While his statement is despicle, I am not sure that it's a threat.  And even if it's construed to be a veiled threat, I doubt that the imminent element has been met.  In any event, holding that it has been met may very well lead us down a slippery slope.

    You can disagree with the Court's holding in Brandenburg if you like, but as a Civil libertarian I am generally opposed to any further limitations on free speech.  After all, without the protections afforded to us by the First Amendment and the Supreme Court's interpretation of that ammendment in Brandenburg, I shiver to think what would happen to posters on this site if some idiot like Bill O'Reilly got into a position of power.  He would construe every post that was critical of him as a "veiled threat."

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