There are very few exceptions to the First Amendment, and a “true threat” is one of them.
But defining a true threat isn’t easy. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court first examined true threats in the 1969 case Watts v. United States, it’s been a messy doctrine. The court didn’t provide a definition of a true threat until many years after Watts, and even then questions still remained.
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we discuss the true threats doctrine with First Amendment scholar and FIRE Legal Fellow David L. Hudson Jr. He is the author of an ABA Journal article about true threats titled “When do rants exceed First Amendment boundaries and become true threats?”
Have questions or ideas for future shows? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, don’t miss Hudson tell the story of many important student free speech court cases as part of our “FIRE Starter” video series. You can watch the short videos on FIRE’s YouTube channel.