'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

21 July 2011

9th Circuit Ruling

I hold no sympathy for racists or those who would threaten anyone, including the sitting President. There's just no excuse for it and such behavior cannot be tolerated. But as a veteran and experienced police officer I understand the difference between those who are stupid and those who are determined and dangerous. Apparently (and surprisingly) so does the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. In a ruling on Tuesday they demonstrated common sense and overturned the conviction of Walter Bagdasarian for threatening then candidate obama in 2008.

Here's the key wording;
"The Ninth Circuit overturned Bagdasarian's conviction because there was not sufficient evidence that a reasonable person who read the postings would have believed that Bagdasarian intended to injure or kill Obama."

It's the "Reasonable Person" rule and it's been notably absent from court rulings lately, especially the 9th Circuit. That this liberal court would find thus is both interesting and encouraging. The 9th Circuit isn't exactly known for reasonableness or getting things right. This is a very small case but a very important ruling, especially in California where case law is so important to future criminal filings and rulings.

Walter Bagdasarian is a human stain who deserves neither sympathy nor an audience. I reject him, his words and his beliefs. I can but hope that sometime he runs that nasty mouth at someone who will take a more personal umbrage and teach him about the value of STFU. But. He is still American and does deserve to have his rights upheld. As a man who once worked under the auspices of the 9th Circuit I am heartened by this decision and can only hope that it indicative of a sea change in the 9th Circuit.



Sarge said...

That ruling is very surprising from the 9th Circuit.

instinct said...

Hey Six, speaking of cops have you seen this?


Pisses me off to see this kind of attitude from someone with a badge.

Six said...

Me too Instinct. Sarge and I both have no pain with guys like this being shown the door. It diminishes us all.

Ed Rasimus said...

The point that our political dialogue has deteriorated to the point that we don't deal with issues any more or performance but simply shouts and threats is an important one.

The 9th has done a reasonable thing here by highlighting that we must carefully restrict the federal government's ability to control our speech. Certainly threats must be taken seriously, but application of the "reasonable person" criteria is important.

You're also very correct about encounters with the offended individual who administers a serious dose of STFU. Individuals are not constrained by the Bill of Rights. It only applies to governments, even after incorporation.

Six said...

Thanks Ed. I was frankly astonished at this ruling out of the 9th Circus. It's a large step away from their usual MO. Dare I say a step toward strict Constitutionalsim?