WASHINGTON — Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent.But his wife didn’t see it that way. Neither did a federal jury.
Elonis, who’s from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was convicted of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to threaten another person.
In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday was to consider whether Elonis’ Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment.
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Moments like this — when a president in his final two years of an eight-year run faces a sharply hostile Congress — are certainly not when big, ideologically polarizing legislation is likely to be enacted. Republicans may have a comfortable majority in both the House and Senate, after all, but not enough votes to override a presidential veto. My colleague Carl Hulse reports that Republicans are eager to show they can be a governing party and seek to move legislation that many Congressional Democrats might object to but which Mr. Obama is likely to sign.
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WASHINGTON — The most expensive midterm campaign in American history stumbled into Election Day on Tuesday with voters’ interest at record lows and their divisions deep over what they want their government to do in President Obama’s final two years.
… The uncertainty about the outcome is a fitting match for the mood of the nation. A slowly but steadily improving economy — with six months of strong growth, gasoline below $3 a gallon for the first time in four years and substantial deficit reduction — has not translated into broader optimism. Voters are more inclined toward blame than credit.
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