In Court, The Proud Boys Got a Painful Civics Lesson They Won’t Soon Forget


A government judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a case against leaders of the Proud Boys extremist group, dismissing members’ case their supposed support in the Jan. 6 insurrection endeavor was ensured by the First Amendment.

Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Charles Donohoe and Zachary Rehl all attempted to have the Department of Justice’s government case against them tossed on the right to speak freely of speech grounds — and U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly wasn’t feeling it.

Regardless of Defendants political motivations or any political message they wished to express, this supposed conduct is simply not ensured by the First Amendment,” Kelly wrote as he would see it. “Defendants are not, as they argue, accused of anything like burning flags, wearing dark armbands, or taking part in simple sit-ins or protests.”


He permitted the most serious accusation against the group members — obstruction of a government continuing — to continue, as well. The charge has been used against different defendants accused of taking an interest in the Jan. 6 assault, and it carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

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Kelly’s Tuesday assessment read like the world’s easiest civics lesson, explaining that vicious insurrections are, indeed, not ensured speech. Also he clarified why any such case left the window when the occasion turned brutal.

Extremist groups and their leaders who purportedly coordinated the rough assault on the Capitol have confronted increasing pressure from criminal and common cases. Similar to Tuesday’s ruling, a government judge declined last week to toss out bureaucratic obstruction charges against members of the Oath Keepers, one more extremist group that videos show partook in the insurrection.

Both extremist groups are defendants in a common suit documented by the Washington, D.C., principal legal officer over damages connected with the destructive assault.

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