setzer777 wrote:Something from an abortion discussion in N&A has me wondering about this.
From what I understand advocating unlawful acts can be restricted/punished if it is judged to be inciting those acts. Does this apply to acts that are currently lawful but may become unlawful? That is, advocating that someone, in the event that an act becomes unlawful, perform that act anyway?
The specific example that started me wondering about this was abortion. If an organzation tells everyone: "In the event that abortion becomes illegal in your region, the easiest way to obtain one is to do XYZ." Are they breaking the law? I guess in this specific instance it is muddied since I believe at-home abortions are illegal already. But I'm curious about the general principle.
The principle is that if you directly cause harm though your words, such as yelling "Kill the pigs! Kill the cops!
" in a near-riot, you may be responsible for it (the situation has greatly become less of a grey area since that instance). The same also goes for yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater, if someone gets trampled to death in the following chaos you may be charged with it. In general advocating an illegal act is OK, you can get up and say that killing cops is a good thing and that the more cops that don't come home the better the world is. What you can't do is see an officer and direct people to kill him. These situations are decided by state courts for the most part and can change though time. Sometimes fringe situations get burned
How-to guides are protected free speech. I have a few hundred books on my hard drive on how to make explosives, silencers and improvised firearms. If I were to make any of them I would land myself in jail but it is legal to write, publish and read this material.
The other legal precedent that is relevant here is that to charge someone with a crime it must have been illegal at the time of the act.
edit: This only applies to US law.