There are two very interesting cases before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond VA next week. Both cases involve the notorious white supremacist William White, who describes himself as the “Commander” of the American Nazi Party. The Fourth Circuit bench sits for oral arguments only eight times each year, so you have an opportunity to see some law in action! Since these are appeals cases, they will consist of oral arguments from each side while the judges pepper the attorneys with questions. Each side will have 20 minutes to argue why the lower court decision should (or should not) be upheld on appeal.
The first case up for oral argument is Annette Reddick v. William White on Tuesday, October 25, at 9:30 AM in Courtroom 201. Ms. Reddick and her neighbors were threatened by Mr. White after they brought a housing discrimination complaint against their landlord. Mr. White used toxic racist slurs and symbols and mailed packages directly to Ms. Reddick’s two minor children. He also threatened her lawyer, declaring that he should be “open game.” At issue on appeal is whether the lower court applied the correct legal standard in assessing whether Mr. White’s expressions were “true threats” or speech protected under the First Amendment. The lower court ruled against Mr. White.
The second case is U.S. v. William White on Friday, October 28, at 8:30AM in Courtroom 339. This case will be argued by the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. At issue is whether the lower court had enough evidence to convict Mr. White of making criminal threats and whether the criminal law in play requires a specific or general intent to threaten someone.
The courthouse is located at 1000 E. Main St in Richmond VA. To enter the building, you must have a photo ID. Cell phones, weapons, cameras, food, recorders, and other electronic devices are not permitted. You may also visit the court’s website.