Rep. Nikema Williams, law professors discuss First Amendment during town hall

The First Amendment was a big topic during a virtual town hall Thursday evening.

Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams was joined by Gerry Weber, an adjunct law professor with Georgia State University, and Eric Segall, a law professor with GSU.

Rep. Williams, along with 231 other members of the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump, claiming he incited an insurrection against the government.

"There were some people who were saying we need to just move on and we need to heal the country but I was of a different posture. We needed consequences for actions when the leaders of the country were inciting the violence," Williams said.

Meanwhile, Republicans, like Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene disagreed.

"The facts are there and the evidence is there. The president did not cause the attack on the Capitol," Greene said.

During Thursday night's town hall, Williams, along with Weber and Segall discussed whether or not the president's remarks on the day of the riot fall under free speech.

According to Weber, it doesn't because of the actions that followed. He cited the Brandenburg v Ohio Supreme Court case.

"It's clear under that case, which basically says if you advocate imminent lawlessness that is likely to occur, then you have no first amendment protection. And these facts are a perfect fit for no first amendment protection," Weber said.

Representative Greene said this isn't the case.

"When the President of the United States says let us march to the Capitol peacefully and patriotically, how is that considered inciting violence?" Greene said.

Meanwhile, professor Segall said it's necessary to take into account the totality of circumstances.

"If you add his thousands of tweets, hundreds of tweets, about this particular day, and his other speeches and everything else he did, then I'm willing to say a jury would decide he violated the law. But you have to have those other things," he said.

Another issue brought up under the First Amendment was the fact that social media sites like Twitter have banned President Trump and others.

Rep. Greene said she wore a mask with the word "censored" on it during the impeachment vote because of this.

Both Weber and Segall said social media platforms like Twitter are private companies that can dictate who they allow on their platform.

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