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An upcoming Supreme Court case considers to what degree a speaker’s intent must be taken into account before determining whether a statement is a “true threat” worthy of punishment.
Legal experts argue that ignoring intent could undermine First Amendment protections for speech ranging from online jokes to religious expression.
“We are seeing an increase of ‘speech is violence’ rhetoric in our society, particularly in higher education, and it is critical that the Supreme Court not embrace this arbitrary concept and instead reiterate the First Amendment’s broad protections for free speech,” Travis Barham, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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