Counterman v. Colorado: Changing how the Courts View the “True Threat” Doctrine

Last week the Supreme Court issued its decision in Counterman v. Colorado, changing how the courts will interpret the “true threat” doctrine moving forward.  Counterman involved a Colorado man who was cyberstalking a local singer, and sent her hundreds of Facebook messages over a two year period.  Some were weird or borderline creepy (he once asked her “I am going to the store would you like anything?”, even though they did not really know each other), but others threatened violence (“You're not being good for human relations. Die.”).  The singer tried to block Counterman repeatedly, but he would just create new Facebook accounts and send new messages.  The messages had a significant impact on the singer’s mental health.

Counterman was eventually convicted of violating what amounted to a state anti-stalking law.  Counterman argued that he could not be prosecuted because his Facebook messages did not constitute “true threats,” and therefore…

Fly Your Flag Proudly: Religious Displays on Public Property

So I missed this last week, but the Supreme Court has decided to hear Shurtleff v. City of Boston, a case brought by a Christian group that was denied permission by the City of Boston to fly its flag, which features a Latin Cross, on a flagpole at Boston City Hall.  According to the lawsuit, the City encourages private groups to fly their flags on the city flagpole, and over the course of twelve years had allowed over 280 groups to do so, including Juneteenth and LGBTQ-related flags.  But the group claims they were denied permission solely because their flag was religious.