“Heated Political Rhetoric” And The Law

Eugene Volokh has an excellent summary of the legal issues raised by the discussions about political rhetoric that we’ve had over past 72 hours.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. tom p says:

    Why do people continue to pretend that there are legal issues at play here?

    This is plain and simply a matter of common free speech: I said, “Come on out for my “Targeting Gabbrielle Giffords Fund raising affair.” (where ya kin shoot a fully automatic M-16 at a human silhouette with the letters GG on it….”)(nothin’ illegal mind ya)( no, no threats here) (however, if a deranged individual took it upon himself to follow thru on the images herein, IT IS NOT MY FAULT!!!! He is a NUT-CASE I tell ya!!! He wasn’t listening TO ME!!!!!!!)

    HE WAS LISTENING TO THE BABY JESUS!!! (or maybe the baby Allah) hard to tell….

    Doug, there are no legal issues here. I wonder why so many refuse to acknowledge that there MIGHT…. just might be some moral issues here?

    Youi know, like “Yeah, some of us said she should die for what she did, and now that she almost has???? Welllllll we didn’t really mean it, we didn’t think there were whackos out there that would actually do what we were saying……”

    You know, kind of like “How stupid are you?”

  2. Contracts says:

    Being anti-abortion is exclusively a right wing extremist view? Paging Harry Reid.

    Let’s not even talk about the inclusion of 9/11 truthers on that list. Was this satire? If so…bravo, because I fell for it.