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Why Watts V. U.S. and Elonis V. U.S. matter in today's climate

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posted on Jan, 11 2021 @ 07:50 PM
Twitter banning the President
Apple, Google, and Amazon banning Parler
Twitter and Facebook purging accounts sympathetic to these causes
It's just for safety, right?
It has been repeated over and over and over gain that these accounts are violating the basic tenants of our society, the right to be free from violence.
That sounds like a noble cause, right?
After all, their free speech isn't being violated. Their first amendment rights aren't protected from private companies,and besides...speech that threatens and incites isn't covered by the first amendment anyway. Or i it?

It seems the people telling us that these posts aren't protected by the first may have some explaining to do.
you see, the Supreme Court of the United States has actually ruled a few times on these cases. The proponents of censorship are quick to point to the long standing example of " You can't yell fire in a crowded theater".
But what if I was to tell you that you could yell far more provocative blurbs and SCOTUS would back you 100%?
What if I told you that you could shout words that make it appear to want to shoot the POTUS and it is perfectly legal?
What if told you that you could make a post in which you want to murder your estranged wife in a grisly manner, and The Supreme Court will have your back?

Before you pass me off as a quack or a crackpot of such a degree that I make most sovereign citizens look as sober as a preacher, take a few minutes to peruse this information...

1. Watts V. USA 1969

in 1966 a Young African American man, Robert Watts, was in Washington D.C. attending an anti-war demonstration.
He was in the midst of some discussions, when he gave his opinion on the war , his 1-A draft status ( very likely to be drafted and sent to Vietnam ), and said " If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J".

What Mr Watts didn't know was there was a military counter intelligence officer in proximity, who heard everything. Watts was quickly arrested, tried, and convicted of threatening to kill the President.
The case made it's way through appeals, until it reached the Supreme Court in 1969.
The Court then issued this ruling...

On further appeal, the Supreme Court reversed in a 5-4 per curiam opinion. The majority determined that the federal statute prohibiting threats against the president was constitutional and that true threats receive no First Amendment protection.

However, the majority also determined that Watts’s crude statements were political hyperbole rather than true threats. “What is a threat must be distinguished from what is constitutionally protected speech,” the majority wrote. “The language of the political arena ... is often vituperative, abusive, and inexact.”

The Court agreed with Watts’s counsel’s characterization of Watts’s speech as “a kind of very crude offensive method of stating a political opposition to the President” that did not qualify as a true threat.

Justice William O. Douglas concurred in an opinion that would have gone further than the per curiam majority opinion and invalidated the federal statute. “Suppression of speech as an effective police measure is an old, old device, outlawed by our Constitution,”

posted on Jan, 11 2021 @ 08:03 PM
On to Elonis...

2, Elonis V. USA

Elonis was arrested in 2010, in my old stomping grounds of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
He was having a tough time
his wife and family were gone, his job fired him
so he did what any angry young man would do..he got on Facebook and wrote rap lyrics describing how he was going to murder his wife
The police, and the courts were not impressed by his artistic ability, so they arrested him, convicted him, and sentenced him to prison
Elonis appealed, and eventually, in 2014 it showed up on the SCOTUS docket
they took the case, and in an 8-1 ruling ( yes, even Antonin Scalia agreed..Thomas was the only dissent )the court sided with Elonis...

Yes. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. delivered the opinion for the 8-1 majority. The Court held that the prosecution needed to show that Elonis intended the posts to be threats, and therefore that there was a subjective intent to threaten . An objective reasonable person standard does not go far enough to separate innocent, accidental conduct from purposeful, wrongful acts. The Court held that, in this case, an objective standard would risk punishing an innocent actor because the crucial element that makes this behavior criminal is the threat, not merely the posting.

So we have established precedent in what constitutes a true threat..hyperbole and bravado do not
The drama kings and queens in congress know this
Big tech , with their armadas of high powered attorneys know this
The media , also with cartels of blood sucking lawyers know this
but they ain't telling you, the minions that they depend on for support and donations
Just don't let one of these hysteronic morons try to tell you that what all these people on Parler is doing is illegal

posted on Jan, 11 2021 @ 08:11 PM
The left has established that everything Trump or his supporters say is to be taken literally for all of these past four years. So they aren't thinking in the realms of these rulings and the courts might not think there anymore either.

posted on Jan, 11 2021 @ 08:14 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

Most of the Justices that made the Elonis ruling are still on the Bench, and that ruling partially used the Watts ruling as a source.
It all comes down to the legal concept of Mens Rea

posted on Jan, 11 2021 @ 08:21 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

That is, sadly correct. I keep saying we are exactly 1 supreme court ruling away from both losing the constitution and solidification of communist rule. Everyone should keep that in mind and plan accordingly

posted on Jan, 11 2021 @ 08:29 PM
Well, I see we have the debbie downer portion of the forum in the house tonight
If things are as bad as you both say, then we only really have 4 choices.
1. Leave... Just sell everything and leave this country
2. Bend over, beg for some KY, and take it all, everything that they want from us
3. Make Jim Jones proud
4. Give them exactly what they want.
None of those options sound appealing to me
My Great Grandfather's Great Great Grandfather, Valentine Meckes, was one of the men that fought to free this country
I don't take nothing from nobody
I am not a quitter
And the only wars that should ever be fought are defensive wars
So if you ask me, I'm taking option 5
None of the above
edit on 11-1-2021 by Arizona2 because: (no reason given)

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