Right-wing violence seems to be escalating in the US. First it was the killing of an abortion doctor, then murder at the Holocaust museum, and now this.
FBI Arrests Blogger for Allegedly Threatening Judges
By Andrew M. Harris
June 24, 2009
A New Jersey man described as an Internet radio talk show host and blogger was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill three U.S. Appeals Court judges in Chicago who earlier this month upheld a law banning handguns.
Hal Turner, 47, of North Bergen was arrested by U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at his home today, according to a statement issued by Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
In the days after the judges’ June 2 decision to uphold a lower court’s dismissal of a National Rifle Association lawsuit challenging the ban, Turner posted on his Web site their names, photographs, phone numbers and work addresses, together with a picture of the courthouse delineating stanchions he called “anti-truck bomb barriers,” according to Fitzgerald.
“Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed,” Turner allegedly said in one Web site posting, according to Fitzgerald.
“We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period.” the prosecutor said.
The judges who issued the ruling were 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, as well as Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook.
In their unanimous decision, written by Easterbrook, the judges had said that U.S. Supreme Court precedent, established last year in a high court ruling that struck down a similar ban enacted in Washington, precluded their invalidating the Chicago law.
“The Supreme Court has rebuffed requests to apply the Second Amendment to the states,” Easterbrook wrote, referencing the provision of the U.S. Constitution that the Supreme Court had recognized as conferring an individualized right to bear arms.
“These judges deserve to be made such an example of as to send a message to the entire judiciary: Obey the Constitution or die,” Turner reportedly wrote on his Internet site, according to a 10-page affidavit by FBI agent John Marsh, appended to the criminal complaint filed against Turner in Chicago federal court.
In 2005, the mother and husband of Chicago U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lefkow were shot and killed in her home.
While her life previously had been threatened by since- jailed white supremacist Matthew Hale, who lost a case before her, the double-murder was later ascribed to another man unconnected with White, who whose medical malpractice lawsuit Lefkow had dismissed.
That man, Bart Ross, allegedly admitted to the killings in a note he penned before shooting himself in his car during a March 2005 traffic stop in a Milwaukee suburb.
Alluding to the Lefkow murders, Turner said in another posting, “Apparently the 7th U.S. Circuit Court didn’t get the hint after those killings. It appears another lesson is needed,” the Marsh affidavit said. ..