Judge rules bomb threat letter is "free speech" in anti-abortion case


what's the matter with kansas

Call me crazy, but I'm guessing our founders didn't think free speech meant writing a threatening letter to someone warning them that they were being watched and that their car would be bombed should they decide to continue their (legal) abortion training.

Did I say threatening? Pfft! Oh please. Nonono, there's no evidence of such a terrible, unChristian thing. The First Amendment covers all that, and besides, God said He was cool with it. We're good, go away.

Of course, this appalling story centers on the very same location where abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered (in his own church, by the way).

Via CJOnline:

WICHITA — An abortion opponent’s letter to a Wichita doctor saying someone might place an explosive under her car is constitutionally protected speech and not a “true threat” under existing law, a federal judge ruled Thursday. [...]

It was a great victory for the First Amendment,” said her attorney, Don McKinney. “Obviously, we agree with the opinion. I appreciate the court held the U.S. Department of Justice accountable to the law and the evidence.”

Letter-writer Angel (yes, Angel) Dillard included this:

They know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live,” the letter said. “You will be checking under your car every day <0x2014> because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.

Who could possibly interpret that as a threat?

But Dillard included her return address, see, a fact that the judge, in all his judgy wisdom, used to support his ruling.

Here's an excerpt from Dillard's deposition:

“I did what the Lord asked me to do. He impressed upon me that I needed to write the letter and I did.”

Well, hey, if the Lord asked you to threaten a life, who are you to say no? So much for that whole "pro-life" premise, huh "Angel"?

Please read the entire story here. And for some background: Kansas women’s clinic follows in Dr. George Tiller’s footsteps.

  • Too bad the lord didn't tell him to jump off a bridge.....while holding the hand of his friend Judge Marten.

  • Patti

    Truly a disgusting human being.

  • TonyD

    Here's a thought experiment: if someone sent a version of that letter threatening a federal judge, how much time in prison would that judge give him?

  • pigboy

    It seems free speech is for oppressors and terrorists.

    On the other hand if you oppose a tar sands oil pipeline or write in chalk on a sidewalk.... not so much.

  • fabucat

    I read over some of the threat and it's right on the edge of protected speech in Brandenburg v. Ohio. I'd argue that the letter was specific enough to qualify as a threat under Brandenburg. Hopefully the Appeals court will overturn this abominable ruling. I'd feel the same way if a pro-choicer had been writing to an anti-abortion activist!

  • fabucat

    I wonder if an Islamist wrote a threatening letter to, let's say, a Christian minister, priest, Rabbi, or well-known atheist, whether the Judge would be so understanding.