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High court will hear appeal over illegal threats

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Posted: Jun 16, 2014 8:45 AM by Hunter Robinson
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Supreme Court, free speech, rights, violent, threatening, language, Facebook, electronic, intent

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court will consider the free speech rights of people who use violent or threatening language on Facebook and other electronic formats where the speaker's intent is not always clear.

The court on Monday agreed to take up the case of an eastern Pennsylvania man sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for posting violent online rants against his estranged wife, law enforcement officials and former co-workers.

A federal appeals court rejected Anthony Elonis' claim that the comments were protected speech under the First Amendment. Elonis says he never intended to harm anyone.

The high court will hear the case when its new term begins in the fall.

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