Additional information about Andrew Anglin’s legal team can be found by clicking here.
The founder of a popular neo-Nazi website who was sued after he called on his readers and followers to “troll storm” a Jewish Realtor from Montana is arguing that his actions are protected by free speech.
Andrew Anglin, founder of the Daily Stormer, has asked a federal court in Montana to dismiss a lawsuit that Tanya Gersh filed against him last spring. In court records filed last week, Anglin’s attorneys said that the First Amendment “is blind to viewpoint” and that the Constitution protects Anglin’s right to express his views about Gersh, “no matter how many people find those views intolerable.”
“If a local business were polluting the environment, any editor could rally his readers to write to that business in protest,” his legal team, led by First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, wrote in court briefs asking for the dismissal of the lawsuit. “If a local business were discriminating against black customers, the NAACP can exhort its members to send correspondence to it. And, conversely, the KKK can ask its members to send letters of protest to an establishment that treats all races equally.”
Gersh, of Whitefish, Mont., sued Anglin in April in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. The complaint details many of the more than 700 anti-Semitic and hateful messages, including death threats, to Gersh, her family, friends and colleagues. A few examples of emails sent to her personal and work accounts:
“Ratfaced criminals who play with fire tend to get thrown in the oven”
“Merry Christmas, you Christ-killer”
“Worthless f—– k—.”
“It’s time for you to take a one way ticket to tel aviv.”
“You have no idea what you are doing, six million are only the beginning.”
In one email, “Death to Tanya” was repeated more than 30 times, followed by: “This message came from ‘Satan Your King.’ ”
They also sent threatening messages to her family. One photoshopped an image of her young son to make it appear as if he was being “crushed by Nazi trucks,” and sent the image to him.
The deluge of messages began after Gersh, who was involved with a local organization called “Love Lives Here,” spoke with Sherry Spencer, the mother of white nationalist and alt-right leader Richard Spencer.
Sherry Spencer, who owns a mixed-use building in Whitefish, wrote in a Medium article published in mid-December that she’d been receiving threats from Gersh who urged her to sell her property and warned her that protesters would show up outside her building if she didn’t do so. She also said that Gersh laid out “conditions,” including one that calls for her to publicly denounce her son’s views and to make a donation to a human rights organization.
Gersh, however, disputes Spencer’s account of the phone call. She said she was merely trying to help the Spencers, who don’t share their son’s extreme beliefs, when she suggested a plan to sell the property that had since become a possible target of protesters. The complaint also said that Spencer asked Gersh if she’d be willing to be her Realtor.
The Daily Stormer began its “troll storm” campaign against Gersh on the same day the Medium article was published.
“There are only 6,000 Jews in the entire state of Montana, yet they’re 100% of the people trying to silence Richard Spencer by harassing his mother. So Then — Let’s Hit Em Up. Are ya’ll ready for an old fashioned Troll Storm?” Anglin wrote.
Anglin’s attorneys argued that his articles do not constitute a “true threat” of violence against Gersh. Although there have been death threats, they said those did not come directly from Anglin, but rather, from third parties. The attorneys added that Anglin included disclaimers urging his readers to avoid threats of violence.