Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wake up, Dorothy. You were never in Kansas

[Big ol' tip o' the fedora to Prometheus6 for snapping me out of "too busy to post" mode.]

Apparently you can make death threats against a Presidential candidate (translation: a black candidate, specifically Barack Obama) on the Internet and get away with it.

Man's call for Obama assassination is free speech, not crime, court rules
July 19, 2011 | 4:27 pm

A La Mesa man who posted racial epithets and a call to "shoot" Barack Obama on an Internet chat site was engaging in constitutionally protected free speech, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in overturning his criminal conviction...

...the statute doesn't criminalize "predictions or exhortations to others to injure or kill the president," said the majority opinion written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt.

"When our law punishes words, we must examine the surrounding circumstances to discern the significance of those words’ utterance, but must not distort or embellish their plain meaning so that the law may reach them," said the 2-1 ruling in which Chief Judge Alex Kozinski joined but Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw dissented.

Quick now, who's surprised? And who thinks this would be consistently applied to threats against a white candidate? And who thinks the (two) judges in the majority are sure in their own minds that race played no part in their decision?

Full decision here.