This spring, a U.S. district judge ruled that three protesters who attended a Donald Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Ky., in March of 2016 could move ahead with a lawsuit against Trump and three supporters who attacked them. While Judge David Hale ruled out the idea that the supporters were agents of the campaign, he did consider it plausible that Trump incited a riot by saying, “Get ’em out of here.”

Ken Vogel of the New York Times noted Wednesday that although the judge wrote that the words weren’t “objectively violent,” they could be considered incitement, depending on the context.

Jason Riley of WDRB reported further on the judge’s action in the rally case, noting that the judge had decided to reconsider Trump’s argument that his speech was protected by the First Amendment, putting the case on hold:

A federal judge has agreed to reconsider his decision from March in which he rejected President Donald Trump’s argument that he had a First Amendment right to order protesters thrown out of a rally in Louisville during a campaign stop in March 2016.

U.S. District Court Judge David J. Hale on Wednesday amended his March 31 order that allowed a lawsuit accusing Trump of inciting violence to move forward. He ordered the case put on hold while the free speech question is decided.

As an example of context, the judge offered that the exclamation “Shoot!” might or might not constitute incitement, depending on if it were “directed to a crowd of armed angry individuals” or “shouted by a basketball fan in disappointment.”

 

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