SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court Friday overturned an inmate's conviction for writing a crude, rambling letter endorsing President Bush's death at the hands of terrorists — two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the letter was protected under the First Amendment, calling it "Lincoln's crude and offensive method of stating a political opposition to the president." The court noted "such political hyperbole does not constitute a 'threat."'
Full story here.
As long as calling for the death of federal officials is now fair game here in California and the other states of the 9th Circuit, I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly wish death on the three judges who unanimously decided this case.
Note that I'm not threatening them myself, nor am I advocating that others kill them. I just support their deaths. Apparently it's my First Amendment right to do so. I'm just stating my political opposition to their decision.
While I'm at it, is there anyone else I should wish death on? How about my senator, Barbara Boxer? Don't agree with her too much. Nancy Pelosi? Ed Asner/Mike Farrell/Janeane Garafolo/MMoore? How about that appeaser Jimmy Carter? Hilary Clinton? Reg Weaver/Barbara Kerr? Don't agree with these folks--just stating my political opposition to them. Anyone else?
Is there anyone you want to wish death on? Feel free to start a list in the comments section.
You social studies/civics/government teachers out there--how can you possibly be expected to teach respect for the rule of law when something like this happens? Can we now yell "fire" in a crowded theater if we have a political opposition to the play? At least now the Democratic Underground and Daily Kos people can sleep soundly, knowing they no longer have to fear the jackbooted thugs from the federal government beating down doors because of what they post on those web sites--oh wait, they've never had to worry about it anyway, although in reality they should have.
Part of the reason governments exist is to create, promote, and protect a civil society. A decision like this destroys civil society. Can it possibly stand?
I pledge to renounce my wishes of death for the people listed above if this ruling ever gets overturned.
Update, 4/9/05, 11:59 am: If a student writes in a journal, or online, of violent fantasies involving harming fellow students or teachers, even if that student has no intent to carry them out, that student is expelled from school--and rightly so. Threaten the President of the United States, though, and it's free speech.