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White nationalists get First Amendment protection for organizing activities

A federal district judge dismissed charges on First Amendment grounds against white nationalists charged with inciting riots across California. The judge found the Anti-Riot Act “unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.” The judge found no relevance of the white nationalists’ statements to violence in Berkeley in April of 2017. Members of the white nationalist group The Rise Above Movement have attacked protesters and journalists at political protests. (Courthouse News Service, June 3, 2019, by Nathan Solis)

Judge Carmac J. Carney said the Anti-Riot Act criminalizes acts far removed from violence by targeting activities promoting association and meetings. Intending to stop hate and racism, the act over reaches. “It is easy to champion free speech,” wrote Carney,  “when it advocates a viewpoint with which we agree. It is much harder when the speech promotes ideas that we find abhorrent.” (NBC4, June 4, 2019, by Fred Schuster)

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