Judge dismisses charges against white supremacists accused of inciting violence

Defining actions not words as criminal is on a come back

A U.S. District Court judge in California has dismissed federal charges against three members of a violent white supremacist group accused of conspiring to riot at California political rallies.

Prosecutors said the members of the Rise Above Movement conspired over the internet and traveled to attack demonstrators in Huntington Beach, Berkeley, and San Bernardino.

Judge Cormac J. Carney said that the group’s ideology was “hateful and toxic” but a law passed during the era of civil rights and Vietnam War protests went too far to restrict constitutionally protected free speech.

“Some posts express repugnant, hateful ideas,” Carney wrote. “Other posts advocate the use of violence. Most, if not all, are protected speech.”

On Tuesday, a day after Carney’s ruling, a fourth co-defendant, Tyler Laube, filed a motion asking a judge to let him withdraw his guilty plea.

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