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Anti-DEA rants on Facebook spark criminal prosecution
CNET ^ | 12 Oct 2012 | Declan McCullagh

Posted on 10/15/2012 11:54:55 AM PDT by Theoria

Federal judge OKs prosecution of man accused of posting anti-police rants on Facebook, saying that dismissing criminal charges on free speech grounds would be "inappropriate."

Anti-government rants on Facebook can land you in a heap of trouble.

A federal judge has given the green light to the U.S. Justice Department's prosecution of an Indiana man who allegedly posted incendiary remarks about police.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Lawrence in Indiana rejected requests by the defendant, Matthew Michael, to throw out the charges on the grounds that no specific Drug Enforcement Administration agent or other individual had actually been named in the posts.

Lawrence ruled that -- assuming the Facebook postings were illegal threats, which has yet to be proved -- they "were directed at natural persons, namely DEA agents, law enforcement officers, and government personnel."

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader on First Amendment grounds, ruling his vague promises of violence -- "there might have to be some revengeance taken" -- were not illegal.

Michael is accused of writing a series of posts in August 2011 (and creating a "statewide" Facebook event scheduled for November 2011) containing vague but angry and violent statements regarding DEA agents. One alleged post: "War is near..anarchy and justice will be sought...I'll kill whoever I deem to be in the way of harmony to the human race...BE WARNED IF U PULL ME OVER!!"

That's enough to allow the trial to proceed, Lawrence ruled in a written opinion saying:

The First Amendment does not insulate all speech from criminal consequence. Certain categories of speech having little or no social value are not protected, and threats are one such category.... It would be inappropriate for the court to enter a verdict of not guilty based solely on the face of the indictment unless the court could imagine no facts that would render Michael's posts unprotected. That is not the situation here.

Michael is facing three counts of transmitting threats in interstate commerce.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: 2012; dea; facebook; govtabuse; internet; policestate; rapeofliberty; speech; tyranny
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1 posted on 10/15/2012 11:55:03 AM PDT by Theoria
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To: Theoria

Never gripe about the cops, they are just the enforcers, gripe about the politicians instead they are the true enemies of freedom.


2 posted on 10/15/2012 12:00:22 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Theoria
Let this be a warning to all.

Do NOT challenge nor speak ill of you betters.

Learn your place and pay your taxes.

3 posted on 10/15/2012 12:02:31 PM PDT by Drill Thrawl (I can haz CW 2 now?)
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To: GraceG
BS. "Just following orders" isn't justification to be a jackboot.

This whole case needs to be bounced hard.

Failing that, "pitchforks and torches"...

Or do we really need to slide down this slippery slope any further before putting the brakes on?

4 posted on 10/15/2012 12:04:47 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: GraceG
Never gripe about the cops, they are just the enforcers

You said the same about Hitler's stormtroopers?

5 posted on 10/15/2012 12:05:30 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature not nurture TM)
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To: GraceG

Never gripe about the cops? Over the past couple decades they have gotten more and more out of hand. Not the same folks I remember as a child. As government has gotten more reckless, so has its armed enforcers. As our culture has gotten coarser and less civilized not sure how you think those who want to deal with the lowest levels of society have somehow remained genteel.
It’s-changed America.


6 posted on 10/15/2012 12:06:57 PM PDT by all the best (`~!)
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To: Drill Thrawl

Don’t worry... There will be a few folks reading this thread who are thinking those exact thoughts.

It’s what happens when you abandon principles for Party.


7 posted on 10/15/2012 12:11:02 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Theoria

             

8 posted on 10/15/2012 12:11:26 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: Theoria
Michael is facing three counts of transmitting threats in interstate commerce.

He wasn't conducting "interstate commerce," but then misinterpretation of the Commerce Clause is the feral government's skeleton key that opens any door it wants to open, so why should they stop now?

9 posted on 10/15/2012 12:12:28 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the psychopath.)
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To: Theoria
This is ridiculous and against freedom of speech , against freedom.

Obama has turned America into a communist dictatorship.

.

10 posted on 10/15/2012 12:14:08 PM PDT by rurgan (Sunset all laws at 4 years.China is destroying U.S. ability to manufacture,makes everything)
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To: GraceG
Never gripe about the cops ..

Seriously ? !



< facepalm >

11 posted on 10/15/2012 12:15:23 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: GraceG

I can gripe about anything I want to . That’s called freedom of speech.


12 posted on 10/15/2012 12:18:04 PM PDT by rurgan (Sunset all laws at 4 years.China is destroying U.S. ability to manufacture,makes everything)
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To: GraceG

“Never gripe about the cops, they are just the enforcer”

Sorry, but I don’t think the Nazi camps would have been effective if the guards had not been there. The guards made the orders happen and deserved the punishments befitting of their crimes.


13 posted on 10/15/2012 12:27:55 PM PDT by CodeToad (Padme: "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.")
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To: Theoria

***Certain categories of speech having little or no social value are not protected,...***

Just who determines what has ‘social value’? Some Czar?

I understand there’s limits, but this is about as slippery a slope as you can get.


14 posted on 10/15/2012 12:31:28 PM PDT by MichaelCorleone ('We the People' can and will take this country back...starting today.)
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To: Theoria
Glad I'm not his dog...

...

15 posted on 10/15/2012 12:32:14 PM PDT by Bon mots (Abu Ghraib: 47 Times on the front page of the NY Times | Benghazi: 2 Times)
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To: GraceG

May your chains rest lightly upon you.


16 posted on 10/15/2012 12:34:39 PM PDT by Repeat Offender (Why do cops have more lenient ROEs when facing us than troops in combat facing suicidal islamists?)
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To: CodeToad

For all you Sartre fans [I’m not one of them]:

“We were never so free as during the German Occupation.”


17 posted on 10/15/2012 12:34:50 PM PDT by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: Repeat Offender

Oh yeah, almost forgot: The Bureau of A##h###s Trans#####tes F#g##s and Emos can KMA as can the DEA, TSA, and all of the wrong house, no-knock, dog shooters.


18 posted on 10/15/2012 12:37:15 PM PDT by Repeat Offender (Why do cops have more lenient ROEs when facing us than troops in combat facing suicidal islamists?)
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To: Theoria
Certain categories of speech having little or no social value are not protected, and threats are one such category

Oh, please. A 'threat' is not an action. Without an action, no one was harmed. Without harm, there can be no cause for action.

What we have is not only a violation of free speech, it's presumption of guilt prior to legal fact....

basically, their prosecuting him for what he might do.

19 posted on 10/15/2012 12:37:41 PM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: Theoria

I agree with George Carlin, lefty that he was. There is no so-called “Bill of Rights”. There is only a “Bill of Privileges” that can be rescinded whenever Big Brother decides to rescind them.


20 posted on 10/15/2012 12:38:17 PM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: GraceG

In Iowa they say “Don’t b*tch about the farmer with your mouth full.”


21 posted on 10/15/2012 12:46:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: CodeToad

Well the politicans start the ball rolling, by the time the avalance has started it is too late for the pebbles to vote...

Glad to get the response I have gotten though, I think 8 years ago a lot of people were still asleep.


22 posted on 10/15/2012 12:47:11 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: all the best

Never gripe about the cops? Over the past couple decades they have gotten more and more out of hand. Not the same folks I remember as a child. As government has gotten more reckless, so has its armed enforcers. As our culture has gotten coarser and less civilized not sure how you think those who want to deal with the lowest levels of society have somehow remained genteel.
It’s-changed America.

When referring to the drug policies we shouldn’t put the cops more to blame than the polticians who promised safety in exchange for our personal liberty and we got exactly what we deserved in that faustian bargin. And blame ourselves who were asleep at the time who wanted the laws “for the children” that ended up being turned back on us like and angry snake we throught we could control.


23 posted on 10/15/2012 12:50:31 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Theoria

“...I’ll kill whoever I deem ...” Until he typed this, the post was just a rant.

Threats to kill police are not only stupid, but arguably not
covered as protected speech (unless uttered by a protected minority).

He was white, i take it.


24 posted on 10/15/2012 12:50:45 PM PDT by RitchieAprile (Gentle but bold...)
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To: MamaTexan
What we have is not only a violation of free speech, it's presumption of guilt prior to legal fact.... basically, their prosecuting him for what he might do.

Close.

What is being presumed is that he is acting as a corporation and thus is liable to administrative law.

If he doesn't refute this presumption, it will be further presumed to be correct.

Then, as corporations have no rights, his cliam of having the "right" to free speech will be dismissed as frivolous.

The Court will then rule on what the allowable privileges of speech are for corporations, and hold his behavior against that standard.

This is the law as it really is. This is what judges, prosecutors, lawyers, bureaucrats and a hige percentage of cops know, that the public doesn't.

It is literally the same as saying - I am going to arrest you for violating boating laws in how you walked down the street. And if you dont say - hey, I'm not a boat!," I'm going to presume you ARE a boat. And further, I'm going to let cops arrest people on the presumption they are boats.

That's the problem with America.

That's the ONLY problem with America. EVERY OTHER PROBLEM comes from that one.

And do you know how this giant nefarious scheme is protected? By prsion camps, perhaps? Or the gestapo? Nope.

By television, potato chips, ipods, cellphones, and that biggest help of all - the giant American shrug, folled by the TRUE American slogan of our times: "whatever."

Even GOD despairs against such sloth, while Hillary daily laughs so hard she chokes herself, and has to take meds to keep from bursting into constant laughter.

25 posted on 10/15/2012 12:56:11 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Theoria

U.S. District Judge William Lawrence can go to hell. Come get me. LOL


26 posted on 10/15/2012 12:56:35 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
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To: GraceG

Forgive me if I gave the impressions that I though police were to blame in this particular matter. It was the never gripe about the cops. Cops are government employees and shoul not be exempt from scrutiny or criticism any more than the rest of that lot.
Best regards


27 posted on 10/15/2012 12:59:13 PM PDT by all the best (`~!)
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To: Drill Thrawl

Neah.
They don’t what you think.
Just don’t THREATEN them. They are not going to let you get the first shot.
Heck, if you threatened me is sufficiently credible fashion, I wouldn’t let you get the first shot...


28 posted on 10/15/2012 1:12:12 PM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Theoria

so what about the threats against zimerman and the reward for him?anyone prosecuted? oh he’s not a protected person.


29 posted on 10/15/2012 1:12:37 PM PDT by rolling_stone
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To: steve86

“Never gripe about cops...”, instead make copies and send everything to their boss and all their neighbors.

I’d want to know if I were their neighbor.


30 posted on 10/15/2012 1:13:19 PM PDT by Fitzy_888 ("ownership society")
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To: Little Ray
Heck, if you threatened me is sufficiently credible fashion, I wouldn’t let you get the first shot...

Nor should you.

31 posted on 10/15/2012 1:19:44 PM PDT by Drill Thrawl (I can haz CW 2 now?)
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To: Theoria
thoughtcrime...

I've said it many times on here and I'll say it again:

Your calender may read 2012, but we are living 1984!

32 posted on 10/15/2012 1:21:02 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Theoria
...threats in interstate commerce.

US Federal Government motto: Interstate Commerce über alles!

33 posted on 10/15/2012 1:26:06 PM PDT by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: Theoria

I make constructive criticism comments on police, government, media, etc on Facebook, etc as my inherent freedom provides.

Any attempt to punish that freedom?

That’s what 17 loaded AK mags in bandoleers is ready for.


34 posted on 10/15/2012 1:28:24 PM PDT by TheBigJ
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To: Dead Corpse; All

” we would all right now, all of us together, [starts to shout] all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families. [stands up screaming]”

Alec Baldwin during Clinton impeachment.

How many years did he get for this? (not a day)

All free speech is not created equal.


35 posted on 10/15/2012 1:29:19 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

MRC has an old RealMedia clip of that. 1998 Conan O’Brian’s show.

Liberal derangement on display.

And yet, they get a free pass while folks like this guy go to jail.

Nov 7th can’t come quickly enough.


36 posted on 10/15/2012 2:01:43 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Talisker
What is being presumed is that he is acting as a corporation and thus is liable to administrative law.

Citizens of the Unites States are positive law, or 'corporate' persons. Citizens of these united States are natural law persons.

-----

If he doesn't refute this presumption, it will be further presumed to be correct.

Correct. His appearance must be in in propria persona.

This is the law as it really is. This is what judges, prosecutors, lawyers, bureaucrats and a huge percentage of cops know, that the public doesn't.

This I know. It's just so difficult to even get someone to look at the subject, much less try to understand it. the majority of the time, folks are told it's the LAW....and they say 'okay'.

-----

It is literally the same as saying - I am going to arrest you for violating boating laws in how you walked down the street. And if you dont say - hey, I'm not a boat!," I'm going to presume you ARE a boat.

Silence implies consent.

-----

By television, potato chips, ipods, cellphones, and that biggest help of all - the giant American shrug, folled by the TRUE American slogan of our times: "whatever."

Caused a great deal by a sense of helplessness. IMHO. A lot of people know something is desperately wrong, but as they have no idea how to fix it, they do the only thing they can.

They ignore it.

I wonder if anything would happen if they knew the federal government (or any of its subsidiaries) attempting to pass laws that affect the People in the States IS the Constitutional definition of treason?

Since the union of the sovereignty with the government, constitutes a state of absolute power, or tyranny, over the people, every attempt to effect such an union is treason against the sovereignty, in the actors;
Preliminary Remarks, St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution

37 posted on 10/15/2012 2:22:34 PM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: Dead Corpse

Yep, not soon enough.


38 posted on 10/15/2012 2:28:51 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: GraceG

“gripe about the politicians instead they are the true enemies of freedom.”

They’re just the paid help.


39 posted on 10/15/2012 3:16:53 PM PDT by dljordan (Voltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
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To: MamaTexan
basically, their prosecuting him for what he might do.

In other words, another Thought Crime.

I have more and more respect for George Orwell as the years go by.

40 posted on 10/15/2012 4:40:17 PM PDT by Max in Utah (A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.)
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To: Talisker
Then, as corporations have no rights, his cliam of having the "right" to free speech will be dismissed as frivolous.

Except that Citizens United held that corporations do have such right to free speech.

What we have here is a "when it's convenient" law: that is it applies, or doesn't, according to how convenient it is to those in authority.
I suspect that he is being targeted precisely because the DEA is operating on the assumption of authority, but that any delving into those assumptions would prove them to be false.

41 posted on 10/15/2012 4:51:22 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Theoria
Michael is accused of writing a series of posts in August 2011 (and creating a "statewide" Facebook event scheduled for November 2011) containing vague but angry and violent statements regarding DEA agents. One alleged post: "War is near..anarchy and justice will be sought...I'll kill whoever I deem to be in the way of harmony to the human race...BE WARNED IF U PULL ME OVER!!"

No doubt the court is soon to be clogged with rap artists. I'm sure Ice Cube will have multiple subpoenas to answer.
42 posted on 10/15/2012 5:03:31 PM PDT by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: Theoria

So if someone were to say “Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants...BE WARNED IF U PULL ME OVER!!” on a website, what would happen?


43 posted on 10/15/2012 5:16:19 PM PDT by rottndog (Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants-BE WARNED)
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To: GraceG
Never gripe about the cops, they are just the enforcers,

Buttshil !!! The pigs are practicing law by whim and getting worse. There's no check on this abuse of power. Having been on calls with them over the years the nicest thing I can say about them is that about 75% should be behind bars with Bubba. There actually are a small minority who are decent human beings. Real stand up guys. Not many though.

44 posted on 10/15/2012 5:26:10 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (Tequila can hurt but it wasn't designed to kill you. Taqiyya is.)
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To: RitchieAprile

This guy said that he intended to go out and kill cops. The idea that you have to mention a specific person for it to be considered a threat is ridiculous. No terrorist could ever be arrested for plotting to kill non-specific Americans then. There certainly should be investigation to make sure he won’t be the next mass shooter. There’s not enough from this alone to know if he is guilty or not guilty but a trial is warranted. Warning signs like this should be taken seriously.


45 posted on 10/15/2012 5:40:44 PM PDT by JediJones (ROMNEY/RYAN: TURNAROUND ARTISTS ***** OBAMA/BIDEN: BULL $HIT ARTISTS)
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To: Theoria

...BE WARNED IF U PULL ME OVER!!”

I believe this falls into the same category as shouting fire in a theater when there is no fire.


46 posted on 10/15/2012 6:02:20 PM PDT by W. W. SMITH ((Yuri Bezmenov (KGB Defector) - "Kick The Communists Out of Your Govt. & Don't Accept Their Goodies.)
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To: Theoria
Once two strangers climbed on rocky top,
Lookin' for a moonshine still.
Strangers ain't come back from rocky top,
Guess they never will.

Rocky top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me.
Good ole rocky top,
Rocky top tennessee, rocky top tennessee.

47 posted on 10/15/2012 6:15:04 PM PDT by Manic_Episode (Some days...it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps....)
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To: rurgan
Obama has turned America into a communist dictatorship.

Naw. Obama is working for Sharia Law. Communism is just to get radicals like Hillary and Bill Clinton excited. Even those two idiots are starting to see the light. How about you? Are you finally seeing that Egypt and Libya were about setting radical governments in place to join Iran? Probably not, but think about it. Obama = Muslim explains everything.

48 posted on 10/15/2012 6:24:07 PM PDT by politicianslie (Obama: Our first Muslim PRESIDENT,destroying America $1 Trillion at a time! And America sleeps)
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To: W. W. SMITH
...BE WARNED IF U PULL ME OVER!!”
I believe this falls into the same category as shouting fire in a theater when there is no fire.

That example is one of the most horrid examples of legal thought that there is. The case wherein it is referenced was about a guy publishing in protest to WWI, that he was a socialist is irrelevant, his claim was that the war was immoral and that people should refuse the draft as well as petition congress to repeal the draft. (Now, given the predicate that the war was immoral that would make a law pressing people into actual direct service thereof also immoral; and one of the tenants of law, now lost thanks to modernity's rejection of law's moral basis, is that an immoral law is evil, and therefore not legitimate as law is to be just. -- Also, given that the incident where-which Congress garnered support [the sinking of an English ship carrying about 130 Americans, as well as war supplies] was possibly that generation's Fast & Furious given 1: the German embassy/consulate paid for newspaper ads [in dozens of papers] advising the Americans of the dangers of traveling abroad due the state of war, 2: due the State-Department's policies only 3 of those ads were ever run, and 3: the warships escorting the ship were ordered to fall back a half-day before the attack... [assumption] that the entry into WWI was immoral may well have been right.)

So then, this case was the direct result of political speech, unambiguously the sort of speech that the First Amendment protects.

The Supreme Court then, in order to legitimize the unconstitutional sedition laws whereby this man was being prosecuted came up with that theater argument as an example. IOW, it was nothing but the justification for an unwritten exception into the restrictions on the government by the Constitution; much like the Affordable Care Act's decision recently.

(PS - The correct answer to the theater scenario is this: the man should be held criminally responsible for any deaths, and civilly accountable for injuries [taken to court].)

49 posted on 10/15/2012 7:52:44 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark

Should not Roger Baldwin and his myrmidons be held accountable for weakening the constitution and the law. He took soviet money clear into the seventies to continue his efforts through the ACLU. That he was socialist was relevant, he was also advocating the violent overthrow of the government and was a card carrying member of CPUSA. Where you trying to run a fast one past us? I am still upset he spent so little time in prison.


50 posted on 10/15/2012 8:59:29 PM PDT by W. W. SMITH ((Yuri Bezmenov (KGB Defector) - "Kick The Communists Out of Your Govt. & Don't Accept Their Goodies.)
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