Those making threats against the Kentucky school where the students wearing the MAGA hats attend could face felony charges

Thomas Lifson:
There no doubt is – and properly so – a high bar necessary to meet the standards of a terroristic threat. But, having seen only a sample of hateful tweets directed at the Covington Kids, it is quite possible that one or more individuals, traceable to their own Twitter accounts, have met the legal test.

Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is the underlying reason why the explosion of hate for the Catholic Church has become so public (in anticipation of the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the next SCOTUS vacancy), is literally "derangement" – meaning that ordinary internal mental cautions that prevent people from crossing important lines are discarded in a frenzy.

If one or more people from outside Kentucky is indicted and brought to the state for prosecution under a terroristic threat statute, it would sober up a lot of others. Depending on the nature of the specific threat, the best defense strategy might be to plead mental incapacity due to TDS. That would lead to all sorts of expert testimony as to whether or not TDS is a legitimate psychiatric affliction. Best of all, it would be the Trump-hating defendant who would be making the case that TDS is a mental affliction.

The other avenue for legal redress is libel suits. Robert Barnes, who reads, tweets about, and occasionally writes for these pages, has stepped up with an offer of free legal representation for libel lawsuits on behalf of the children and already apparently is representing some of them. He has been warning prominent people – such as Rep. Ilhan Omar and New York Times writer Maggie Haberman – to repudiate and apologize for their libels or face a lawsuit.

I do hope these lawsuits are brought in Kentucky. It is a state often dumped on as backward, full of hillbillies and moonshiners. It is also a place with a distinctive local culture and much well deserved pride in is world pre-eminence in thoroughbred horse-breeding and bourbon. I suspect that Kentucky jurors would not take kindly to threats and libels aimed at the children of their state.
It should not be hard to find those making the threats.   The local prosecutors are already investigating charges against those who threatened the life of the kids.  It would be a felony offense with a one to a five-year penalty which escalates to a 10-year penalty if a weapon of mass destruction is involved.  A lawyer representing the students has demanded a retraction from several people who have falsely accused the students.


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