Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Man’s Racism-Laced Demand For Obama’s Assassination Ruled Free Speech

July 20, 2011 by  

Man’s Racism-Laced Demand For Obama’s Assassination Ruled Free Speech

A California man, previously found guilty of threatening to kill or do bodily harm to a major Presidential candidate in comments on an Internet message board, had his conviction overturned by a Federal appeals court Tuesday. The court found that the man’s comments, which included several racist slurs and a demand for someone to “shoot” then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama, were protected under the First Amendment as free speech.

“Walter Bagdasarian was found guilty two years ago of making threats against a major presidential candidate in comments he posted on a financial website after 1 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2008, as Obama’s impending victory in the race for the White House was becoming apparent. Bagdasarian told investigators he was drunk at the time,” read an article for the Los Angeles Times.

“In order to affirm a conviction under any threat statute that criminalizes pure speech, a court must find sufficient evidence that the speech at issue constitutes a ‘true threat,’” the court’s decision read. “Neither one of Bagdasarian’s statements constituted a ‘threat’ in the ordinary meaning of the word as an expression of an intention to inflict injury on another… The threat statute does not criminalize predictions or exhortations to others to injure or kill the president.”

The court described the defendant as “an especially unpleasant fellow,” and his statements as “alarming and dangerous.” However, the court found that: “When our law punishes words, we must examine the surrounding circumstances to discern the significance of those words’ utterance, but must not distort or embellish their plain meaning so that the law may reach them.”



Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Man’s Racism-Laced Demand For Obama’s Assassination Ruled Free Speech”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • Raggs

    Well… imagine that… But ya know this guy will be watched at every move that he makes especially next year.

    I guess the court figured that they cannot lock-up 200 million Americans like me that HATE oblama.

  • Harold Olsen

    According to some people on the left, this sort of thing is free speech. A little over a year ago, idiot actor Richard Dreyfus took part in a seminar, I guess you’d call it, on civility. He said that, criticizing Obama was hate speech. Calling for the assassination of George W. Bush was freedom of speech, not hate speech. So, I agree with this decision that calling for Obama’s assassination is free speech. I’m tired of double standards.

    • TIME


      As you saw little dicky in person I don’t have to tell you about his very little small man issues. As a matter of fact most of the HollOywood idiots are little people, I mean little in all respects.

      How sad that so many worship them as Idols when in fact most are as smart as a box of rocks, yes they get paid BIG money to be that stupid, no – really its true.
      One twit I know thinks due to his playing a part in a movie as a CIA dude he is the real deal.
      How sad is it that our nation follows such mindless fools.

      Stop going to the MOVIES!!!

      Its to everyone’s best interest that you all stop going to the movies. Don’t watch TV shows on standard channels if you want their BS to stop. If you must watch TV watch the Dog channel.

    • s c

      Harold, I guess this settles the question of whether or not the land of fruits, nuts and flakes has any rednecks there. It does seem a bit surprising, as most ultralibs have a terrible time with any kind of standards – especially double standards.
      As for Dreyfus, up his – sideways.
      I, too, have been very tired of ultralibs and their psychotic approach to GB. Maybe one of these days, California will get to explore the problem of ethnic groups that hate ‘whites.’ Of course, they’ll have to include New York, Michigan and Illinois in that scenario (and any other state that
      has space cadets who hate Clarence Thomas and America’s black conservatives).

      • Kinetic1

        s c,
        Your assumption that I and other Liberals dislike Clarence Thomas because he is a black conservative says more about your views than ours. Recent news about Justice Thomas’ actions should offend everyone, whether or not you agree with his decisions. The man is a tax cheat and a lier. He does not deserve a position on the bench of our highest court.

    • Kinetic1

      In case any of you were wondering, it was the 9th circuit court of appeals. I know how much you folks love the 9th, so it seemed like they should get credit where credit is due.

    • Jyrine

      I don’t like the double standard either, but the concept is OK.

  • Doc Sarvis

    TIME you wrote; ” As a matter of fact most of the HollOywood idiots are little people, I mean little in all respects.” I’m afraid to ask this but you know this HOW?

    • libertytrain

      Gee when I read Time’s comment I took it to mean short of brains and short as so many actors are – as opposed to tall. What kind of doctor are you that your mind slipped so low?

      • TIME

        You got it.

        How strange, just how small some minds are that have PHD’s.

      • Doc Sarvis

        Goodness, whatever do you think I was referring to?

      • Jyrine

        He’s not a doctor, he just gets off playing doctor.

        • Jyrine

          He isn’t a he either.

  • Doc Sarvis

    This just goes to dispell the myth so many here believe, that being that President Obama is a dictator and controls the courts. Mr. Bagdasarian would be toast if that were the case.

    • Raggs

      Damm good thing that Joe the plumber had such a chance.

    • s c

      D, define ‘so many’ [somewhere between 2 and 295 million?]. Feel free to move in with Dreyfus, and may a large, tobacco-chewing herd of camels find a permanent home in his living room.
      As for your false W H god, he’s not a dictator. He is definitely a wannabe dictator. So much for him. So much for his jockstrappers. Here’s to free speech – while it lasts.

      • Doc Sarvis

        If you read much at all on this site you would see, as I have, President Obama referred to as a dictator (and worse).

        • Doc Sarvis

          Sorry, the end of my last sentence above is “countless times”.

          • Jyrine

            Fishing again Sarvis?

          • Jyrine

            What do the O people pay you to troll?

  • http://deleted Claire

    Freedom of speech is for all. I will say what I want when I want. If no one likes it, tough. However, in view of the article above, this is a serious subject. Threatening anyone’s life is not the thing to do or say. All it takes is one damn nut to attempt an assassination. And if that ever happens, there will be a civil war like we have never seen or read about. I am not promoting fear–this is exactly what I believe will happen. Vote the politicians out if you don’t like them. Don’t threaten or even suggest anything “bad” to happen to any politician. I don’t want any politician to be assassinated.

  • {adidas adizero|adidas adizero predator|adidas adizero soccer|adidas adizero predator|adidas

    Obama offered his own budget earlier this year. It actually increased spending and was universally rejected by the senate 97 to 0





Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.