A First Amendment Case By Ian Wilson LL.B
Marc Randazza , a Las Vegas-based lawyer who specialises in free-speech cases, is representing the publisher of a leading neo-Nazi website, Andrew Anglin. Anglin is being sued for allegedly orchestrating an anti-Semitic online trolling campaign against a Montana Jewish family. The mainstream press give no reason for why he chose this particular family to “harass,” but his website gives his point of view. I should add that I do not support the Anglin site, and what he represents, and see many of his articles as alarming and fanatical. But, as a free speech advocate I still have an interest in the case, which raises fascinating points of law.
According to Mr Randazza:
“Everybody deserves to have their constitutional rights defended… Nobody needs the First Amendment to protect Mr. Rogers. That’s not what it’s there for.”
See: http://www.timesofisrael.com/first-amendment-lawyer-defending-neo-nazi-website-publisher/; https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/06/09/us/ap-us-internet-trolling-lawsuit.html?_r=0.
The point is that real free speech laws protect unpopular speech.
The plaintiff is represented by attorneys from the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. The suit accuses Anglin of invading the plaintiff’s privacy, intentionally inflicting “emotional distress” and violating a Montana anti-intimidation law. The Act in question is the Montana Anti-Intimidation Act (1996), which allows individuals or organisations to bring a lawsuit against persons engaging in unlawful threats and/or intimidation that cause injury or harm.
The Act explicitly prohibits the filing of “non-consensual common-law liens,” defined as claims against real or personal property that are not allowed by state or federal law, not consented to by the property owner, not imposed by a court, or not commonly used in commercial transactions. The property law issues do not appear to be relevant to the case. The legal problem here, which the defence will no doubt raise, is that this Act is directed against agents who engage in the unlawful threats and/or intimidation. The defence will argue that this did not occur, while I expect the plaintiff to argue that the indirect actions of Anglin did meet the threshold of threats and intimidation. That is certainly interesting legal material and well worth the US $153,526 plus (at 4.03 pm June 11, 2017) that Anglin will spend to find out the result. I, for one, can hardly wait for this case, and it is a good investment in free speech.
Thus, the legal issues in the case are of relevance to free speech jurisprudence, since Anglin allegedly did not directly engage in sending messages to the plaintiff. If the plaintiff is successful the case will set a precedence for anyone running a website or conventional publishing system, that they may become responsible for the actions of people reading the material at the site. Imagine social creditors being held responsible for some group of radicals, who decided to deal with banks and financial institutions in the way it was dealt with in this movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTnPjHh8fZ0. It may happen.
I believe that the violence at Leftist websites, as well as many ethnic and religious ones, will be ignored, and only the communications of whites from the Right will be punished. After all, we have seen that there is a very selective use of section 18 C in this country, where radical Islamism sites are seldom addressed, with the section basically being used to keep Anglos in line until they are demographically annihilated, happy that there race and all its history disappears forever: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-05-19/whites-surprisingly-chill-about-becoming-minority.