12 December 2018

No protection for speech inciting violence

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A Kentucky federal judge has rejected Donald Trump’s free-speech defense in a lawsuit that has accused the US president of inciting violence against protesters during a 2016 campaign rally. reports that Judge David J Hale in Louisville ruled on Friday that the lawsuit against Trump, his campaign and three of his supporters can proceed. The judge said he had found ample evidence supporting allegations that the protesters' injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump's actions.

“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ‘em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote.

He further noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.

Trump’s attorneys sought to dismiss the lawsuit by the three protesters who say they were beaten by Trump supporters at a March 1, 2016 campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky. They argued that the suit should not be allowed to go forward because his speech was protected under the First Amendment — and that he did not intend for violence to occur.

Two women and a man have alleged in the lawsuit that they were punched and shoved by audience members as Trump directed them from the podium.

2017.04.02 / 14:38
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