Elonis v. U.S.
The job of the Supreme Court is to apply the Constitution, not to make public policy. That
means that if they’re doing their job, the specific outcomes of the decision shouldn’t be a
factor in their decision. That’s why, sometimes, bad guys go free because the police
violated a rule that protects all of us if we’re accused of wrongdoing. Free speech can also
be troublesome. It sounds a lot better in theory than it sometimes turns out in practice.
Find a Supreme Court case called Elonis v. United States
What can you say and not say on social media? Where does your freedom of speech end
and become a specific threat to another person?
Read about the case and write a 2 – 5 page essay telling your reader what the case was
about, what the court majority decided and why. If you were a Supreme Court Justice,
what would your decision have been and why?
Also: Part of the court’s decision in this case is…it’s not the impact the message has, it’s the
intent of the person delivering the message that counts, right? Please add a paragraph and
tell me your opinion of that idea in light of what happened in the Astroworld festival last
fall. Does the government have the right, or a responsibility, to intervene based on the
content of”art”in a context like that?I had four students tell me they were at the concert –
none injured, thank goodness.
The SCOTUS blog is always a great place to start:
The Cornell Law School also: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/13-983
As always, the New York Times is a great resource for Supreme Court cases: