Calls to harm others are not protected speech
Pro-Nazi website violated cherished principle
We Americans treasure our freedom of speech. We defend it staunchly. As the old saying goes, we may not agree with what some people say, but we defend their right to say it.
Unless it is intended to incite violence to harm people otherwise. There, we draw the line.
In August 2019, a federal judge in Missoula, Montana, ruled that the publisher of a neo-Nazi website had stepped across that line. Andrew Anglin, founder and operator of The Daily Stormer website, had orchestrated a campaign intended to harass a Jewish family, Judge Dana Christensen decided in a lawsuit filed by a member of the family, Tanya Gersh, of Whitefish, Montana.
Anglin was ordered to pay a $14 million judgment to end the lawsuit.
Similar judgments have been made in other lawsuits against Anglin, in Ohio and Washington.
Now, Gersh’s lawyers are back in court, seeking new action against Anglin — because he has not paid any of the $14 million judgment. In fact, the attorneys say, Anglin cannot be located. It seems he has gone underground in an attempt to dodge his financial obligations.
It may be that Anglin has left the country.
Anglin and others enamored of Nazism are entitled to their despicable beliefs. They are not entitled to harm others in any way, however.
To this point, it appears Anglin has not run afoul of criminal law. His court trouble has been in civil cases — but attempting to dodge judges’ orders in such situations can be a criminal offense.
He should be hunted down and held accountable for any harm the courts find he has caused.