Trump held to account for inciting violence at 2016 campaign rally

A Kentucky federal judge ruled against President Donald Trump, refusing to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that he incited violence against protesters in a 2016 campaign event in Louisville. Trump told supporters to “get ’em out of here,” referring to protesters who were then beaten and shoved. Trump’s attorneys argued on free speech grounds that Trump did not intend to inspire force, but the judge ruled that the violence came as a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s words. (The Washington Post, April 2, 2017, by Aaron Blake)

The judge also rejected the argument that Trump had no duty to the plaintiffs since they assumed the risk of protesting at a rally. He said every person has to duty to protect others in that circumstance especially when the “harm was foreseeable.” (The Inquisitr, April 2, 2017, by Johnthomas Didymus)

The judge cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Brandenberg v. Ohio of 1969 and the Sixth Circuit’s Bible Believers v. Wayne County of 2015 to hold that the speech encouraged the use of violence; the speaker intended the speech to result in the use of violence; and the violence was the likely the consequence of the speech. (Constitutional Law Prof Blog, April 2, 2017, by Ruthann Robson)