Libels of and threats to Covington Kids will face Kentucky justice
The ongoing campaign of hate against children from Kentucky guilty of being Catholic, being (mostly) white, and wearing MAGA caps will not end until there are legal consequences. Fortunately, the wheels of justice already are turning in Kentucky, albeit at a pace that is frustrating to those who operate at internet speed. But the prospect of Kentuckian jurors judging those who libel or threaten their children is delightful. There are two separate avenues available, and both are being explored by people ready and willing to act.
The more serious path to legal relief was articulated by Kenton County (which contains Covington) prosecutor Rob Sanders. Gateway Pundit reports:
"We've got multiple ongoing investigations into numerous, numerous threats," Mr. Sanders said Tuesday in a podcast interview with 700 WLW. "There's probably a dozen law enforcement agencies, if not more involved in this – it's growing, it's spreading, there are other jurisdictions now involved in this," Sanders added.
700 WLW radio host Willie Cunningham brought up the death threats towards the Covington teens made by bluecheck verified accounts on Twitter and asked Mr. Sanders about Kentucky law. ...
"What is the Kentucky law about making threats to Covington Catholic specifically? Is there a law against it?" Willie asked Rob Sanders.
"There is. It's called 'terroristic threatening' in Kentucky and it is a felony offense punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison to make a threat of violence to an educational institution, so everyone who makes a specific threat."
Mr. Sanders made sure to clarify that saying "nasty things" about the Covington kids is not the same thing as making an "actual threat of violence" against Cov Cath or any other school in Kentucky that's punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison. The punishment can go up to 5 to 10 years if they talk about using a weapon of mass destruction.
There no doubt is – and properly so – a high bar necessary to meet the standards of a terroristic threat. But, having seen only a sample of hateful tweets directed at the Covington Kids, it is quite possible that one or more individuals, traceable to their own Twitter accounts, have met the legal test.
Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is the underlying reason why the explosion of hate for the Catholic Church has become so public (in anticipation of the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the next SCOTUS vacancy), is literally "derangement" – meaning that ordinary internal mental cautions that prevent people from crossing important lines are discarded in a frenzy.
If one or more people from outside Kentucky is indicted and brought to the state for prosecution under a terroristic threat statute, it would sober up a lot of others. Depending on the nature of the specific threat, the best defense strategy might be to plead mental incapacity due to TDS. That would lead to all sorts of expert testimony as to whether or not TDS is a legitimate psychiatric affliction. Best of all, it would be the Trump-hating defendant who would be making the case that TDS is a mental affliction.
The other avenue for legal redress is libel suits. Robert Barnes, who reads, tweets about, and occasionally writes for these pages, has stepped up with an offer of free legal representation for libel lawsuits on behalf of the children and already apparently is representing some of them. He has been warning prominent people – such as Rep. Ilhan Omar and New York Times writer Maggie Haberman – to repudiate and apologize for their libels or face a lawsuit.
I do hope these lawsuits are brought in Kentucky. It is a state often dumped on as backward, full of hillbillies and moonshiners. It is also a place with a distinctive local culture and much well deserved pride in is world pre-eminence in thoroughbred horse-breeding and bourbon. I suspect that Kentucky jurors would not take kindly to threats and libels aimed at the children of their state.
A side note: Kentucky is hosting this year's Top Chef competition (on NBC Universal's Bravo cable channel), and the series is featuring many aspects of that state's unique culture and cuisine. I have been watching it because I know one of the contestants – normally, I do not watch "reality TV" shows – and have revised upward my estimation of the depth and attractiveness of the local culture of the Bluegrass State. If you are interested, give it a look on Thursday night. Kentuckians are a proud people, and I doubt they take kindly to threats against their kids.