June 1, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court today decided Elonis v. United States, requiring the government to prove more than mere negligence in prosecutions under the federal anti-threat law.

Steven R. Shapiro, national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, offered this reaction in response to the court’s ruling:

“Today’s decision properly recognizes that the law has for centuries required the government to prove criminal intent before putting someone in jail. That principle is especially important when a prosecution is based on a defendant’s words. The Internet does not change this long-standing rule. While today’s decision insists on fairness, it is not a license to threaten, which remains illegal when properly proved.”

More information on the case can be found at:
https://www.aclu.org/cases/free-speech/elonis-v-united-states

Stay Informed