CHICAGO — A white supremacist solicited violence against a juror by posting the man’s address, phone number, and other personal details on his extremist website, an appellate court ruled on Friday, overturning a lower court’s decision to toss the neo-Nazi’s conviction on the grounds that his posts were protected by the First Amendment.
The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago concluded that the posts by William A. White — who gained notoriety in 2008 for seeming to invite the assassination of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama on the same website — were not subject to the shield that theConstitution extends to most speech. Even though White didn’t explicitly instruct anyone to attack the juror when he posted the data on the website, the appellate judges said White’s loyal readers would have known that was just what he meant in the context of other threats, including against Obama.
The juror White singled out served as the foreman in a 2005 trial that convicted another white supremacist of soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago.
In its unanimous 30-page ruling, the judges said ‘‘criminal solicitations are simply not protected.’’