Elonis v. United States
What's at Stake
Whether the government is required to prove that someone prosecuted for making threatening statements intended his words to be taken as a threat.
What the Supreme Court has called “true threats” are not protected by the First Amendment. The question in this case is whether the constitutional definition of a “true threat” includes both a subjective element (the speaker intended his words to be taken as a threat) as well as an objective element (a reasonable listener would have understood the words as a threat). In its amicus brief, the ACLU argues that proof of subjective intent is required to ensure that protected speech is not chilled by the fear of criminal prosecution.
Elonis v. United States - Amicus Brief
Date Filed: 08/22/2014
ACLU Comment on Supreme Court Ruling in Online Threat Case