Michigan Court Rules Hurting a Liberal’s Feelings Online Can Result in Terror Charges, Lawmakers and Activists Respond
The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that hurting a liberal’s feelings can be considered a terrorist threat and punishable by up to 20 years in prison, which has prompted a response from activists and lawmakers concerned about the grave implications this ruling may have on the 1st Amendment.
“Importantly, the issue is not whether defendant actually made a threat of terrorism, which would be a question for the trier of fact. Rather, the issue is whether, on these facts, defendant can be charged at all. The issue before us turns on whether a social media post made by defendant can constitute a ‘true threat,’” the court of appeals wrote in their ruling that puts all conservatives in the state at risk.
This appeals court ruling is pertaining to the case of 20-year-old Lucas Gerhard, a former Lake Superior State University student who was jailed for 83 days because a liberal classmate was triggered by a picture of a rifle he posted on social media. The court of appeals ruled that it did not matter that the hyper-emotional leftist who went to authorities was not intended to receive the photo. This may give the green light for liberals to report social media posts to authorities and compel terrorism charges in the state.
Big League Politics has reported on the miscarriage of justice that has happened to Gerhard and how the state of Michigan continues to attempt to ruin this young man’s life:
“Lucas Gerhard, a 20-year-old student who was enrolled at Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., has been charged with making terroristic threats and faces years in prison for posting a picture of a legally-obtained rifle on social media.
Gerhard posted a picture in Aug. 2019 of his new firearm to a private Snapchat group with classmates, claiming that his AR-15 rifle would “make the snowflakes melt” when he returned to campus. The reference meant that far-left students would be triggered by his possession of the rifle and it would literally melt snow, as the LSSU campus is located in Michigan’s upper peninsula renowned for its icy conditions.
“Taking this bad boy up. This ought to make the snowflakes melt a — and I mean snowflakes as in snow,” he wrote on social media, according to a transcript of the preliminary examination obtained by Big League Politics.
One classmate in the private group – who stated in court proceedings that she did not feel threatened by the post – showed the picture to a left-leaning female student, who copied the image on her phone before they filed a complaint to the district supervisor. It was then kicked up to campus public safety, who got Sault Ste. Marie police involved in the matter…
Lucas’ father Mark, who is a retired Marine colonel that has worked for many years in the federal government, told Big League Politics that he understands why the campus would take a possible threat so seriously. What he doesn’t understand is why prosecutors would continue pursuing such a case when it is abundantly clear that his son poses no threat to public safety. As the case develops, it is becoming clear that the intent is to make a statement and strip Lucas of his constitutional liberties forever.
The deputy public defender tasked with leading the prosecution referred to a Snapchat post during the preliminary hearing in which Lucas referred to Democrats on campus as his “enemies” in an attempt to paint him as a dangerous threat, showing how this case is about the 1st Amendment as much as it is the 2nd.“
As a result of this ruling, state representative John Reilly (R-Lake Orion) will be introducing legislation that will fix the law and make sure that no other conservatives can be railroaded and have their 1st Amendment rights violated in a similar manner as Gerhard.
Activist leaders in the state are urging people to gather on Wednesday, June 30 at 5pm at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing for a press conference in favor of Reilly’s proposed bill and also to raise awareness for Gerhard’s continued legal battle.
“Last Friday, the Michigan Court of Appeals effectively revoked the First Amendment protection of every citizen of Michigan when it declared that your speech could be considered a criminal felony – based not upon the content of your speech, but on how anyone, including any left-wing lunatic, chooses to interpret it,” wrote Adam de Angeli of the Rescue Michigan Coalition.
“By judicial decree the Constitutional rights of all Michiganders are in serious danger,” said Rosanne Ponkowski, President of the Michigan Conservative Coalition. “Prosecutors can declare ‘open season’ on anybody whose speech they disagree with. This is unconstitutional, immoral, and extremely dangerous in today’s toxic political environment.”
“There was a time when our courts and political leaders would vigorously defend the right of free speech, including speech they disagree with,” she added. “It is time to stand up for the rights of every Michigander to speak.”
Individuals can donate to Gerhard’s legal defense fund here.