A judge has dismissed a felony charge against neo-Nazi Bill White in connection with his alleged encouragement of violence against the foreman of a Chicago jury.
White, the leader of the American National Socialist Workers Party, had been scheduled for trial next month in federal court in Chicago. He was charged with soliciting violence against the foreman of the jury that in 2004 convicted white supremacist Matt Hale of soliciting the murder of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow.
Carol Blue, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, confirmed the dismissal this afternoon. “We are reviewing the opinion, and we will consider our options,” said Blue, who declined to elaborate.
“I think the judge did the right thing, applied the appropriate law, to show what Bill did was protected by the First Amendment,” Nishay Sanan, a lawyer for White, told Hatewatch.
Added Chris Shepherd, also a lawyer for White: “To me, the First Amendment is at its best when it protects unpopular speech. If the First Amendment only protects speech that everyone agrees with, then the First Amendment becomes meaningless because that kind of speech is in no need of protection.”
White, of Roanoke, Va., allegedly posted the name, home address, phone numbers and other personal information of the “Gay, Jewish, anti-racist” juror last September. White wrote that the juror “played a key role in convicting Hale.”
White still faces seven counts in Virginia of threatening people, including a Canadian civil rights lawyer and a well-known newspaper columnist. No trial has been scheduled.