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7-14-2009 @ 8:28PM
the most recent and relevant case regarding the necessity of imminent lawless action is Hess v. Indiana where the supreme court overturned a conviction of Hess who was leading a protest in the streets. When the police cleared the streets Hess yelled, "we'll take these f---ing streets later!" And the police arrested him. The Supreme Court overruled his conviction citing Brandenburg saying that Hess's speech was unlikely to cause "imminent" harm (because he was advocating taking the streets "later"). Actually having a concrete plan to kill the president will land you in jail for attempt, conspiracy, etc. But 'saying' that you have a plan which will be carried out at a later time, is protected under the 1st ammendment. Even if you specifiy when and where and with what gun. It may give the police probable cause to watch you, and arrest you upon any actions taken in furtherance of such a plan. But those words alone are not sufficient to subject you to prosecution.
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