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54

TL; DNR: No. Charging the Councilwoman under §2383 for making a speech would violate the First Amendment, and "levying war" in the §2381 means actually fighting, not conspiring to fight. 18 USC §2383 Since §2383 is a statute, it must conform to the Constitution. To charge Sawant for what she said in a speech would violate the 1st Amendment, which ...


44

No. Setting aside hyperbole, it is perfectly legal to "overthrow" the US government (and arguably even the Constitution), provided it is done in a legal manner. Overthrowing the government or even the Constitution need not use violence. Every four-year election cycle could theoretically overthrow the whole government, and every Constitutional ...


34

It is not the case that treason must be tried by a military tribunal. See for example US v. Kawakita, which was an ordinary civilian jury trial. I cannot even imagine why one would think that there is any such requirement. Here is the federal law against treason, and nothing says "offenses must be tried in a military court". Perhaps that misconception was ...


33

Actually, the opposite is true: a military tribunal cannot try a treason case. A military tribunal can only handle cases arising from the Uniform Code of Military Justice or other laws that state that they can be tried by a military tribunal. The UCMJ doesn't list treason as a crime -- the closest is "aiding the enemy". Treason under Title 18 of the US ...


32

It might be more helpful to reverse the analogy. Unprotected speech is a box, and everything that doesn't fit inside the box is free speech. The box is small and strangely shaped, and therefore, very few things will fit inside. The government has spent centuries trying to cram things into it, so we have a pretty good idea of what fits and what doesn't: ...


13

The precedent arising from the Millard Gillars treason prosecution is Gillars v. United States, 182 F.2d 962 (D.C. Cir. 1950). There were numerous issues raised on appeal but portion of the opinion regarding what counts as treason is as follows: The theory of this contention is that treason may not be committed by words, that all vocal utterances are, by ...


8

The US developed from an earlier kingdom, and the First Amendment enshrines the main issue that led to our departure from that kingdom. The underlying political premise has been that disagreement is to be dealt with rationally and not through force, such as where opinions contrary to those articulated by the government are squashed (in order to eliminate ...


8

Treason, like free speech, is in the Constitution To add to bdb's point that the First Amendment is not absolute, the relation of treason to free speech is also complicated by the fact that treason itself is in the Constitution. (In fact, treason is the only crime that is defined in the Constitution.) That treason is in the Constitution means it has a ...


4

What distinguishes a civilian charge of treason versus being an enemy combatant? Nationality. Someone who is not a US national cannot commit treason against the US, because treason is a breach of allegiance, and non-nationals do not owe allegiance. The ruling you mention is not concerned with treason because the defendant is not a national of the United ...


4

They committed the crime of providing material support for terrorism Specifically, 18 U.S. Code 2339A and 2339B. "Material support" is defined so broadly that it captures maintaining the household of an Islamic State fighter. Most countries have similar laws and they are all equally problematical as to their legitimacy. Basically, such people are a giant ...


3

Schiff is not immune from treason - he has not committed treason. Treason, under US law: Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years ...


2

Do the Prime Minister's current statements mean that his previous actions in signing the Withdrawal Agreement were threatening to "deprive" the monarch of her territory, and that by pushing it through Parliament at speed and in the manner in which he did, that he "intimidated or overawed" at least one of those Houses in this regard? No. ...


1

In DC, brick-throwing is against the law, as are rioting and disorderly conduct. The guy who drops off the bricks hasn't done any of those things. Doing things that might result in a law violation is not a crime. Conspiracy to throw bricks is a crime, but this is not a conspiracy; it is not an attempt, nor is it a threat to damage property. There is nothing ...


1

I agree with the above answer that this would pose insurmountable First Amendment problems under modern precedent. However, such a law has been enacted in the past, and people were actually convicted under it. The Sedition Act, which, among other things, banned "seditious" speech against the president, was used to prosecute a number of newspaper printers ...


1

In Germany, you would be a “member of a criminal organisation” and that’s enough for jail. You can’t join ISIS and not commit a crime - joining is the first crime.


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