Mrs. Chappelle-Nadal, Violence Is Never Okay: Explained by a 16-year-old
Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), a Missouri State Senator, wrote on Facebook that she hopes “Trump is assassinated.” The comment drew widespread criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, with U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and U.S. Representative William Lacy Clay calling for her resignation. Many other political individuals called for the disgraced Senator to resign. However, Senator Chappelle-Nadal claims she was exercising her free speech rights.
Was Senator Chappelle-Nadal exercising a constitutional right to free speech? Maybe so. Should she lose her job? Absolutely.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the federal government from interfering with freedom of speech. It is well understood that there are exceptions to this freedom, including inciting violence. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Watts vs. United States that only “true” threats are not protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court interprets a “true” threat as one that actually leads to violence. Unless people are harmed as a result of Mrs. Chappelle-Nadal’s reckless and insensitive words, she is protected by the First Amendment.
However, she should definitely lose her job. Unfortunately, according to the Missouri Constitution, legislators can only be expelled by Congress for poor behavior “in its presence during its sessions.” That means Senator Chappelle-Nadal can’t be expelled, and Missouri legislators can not be recalled or impeached. But the voters of Missouri should vote her out of office when she goes up for reelection in 2018. She is simply unfit to hold public office.
Mrs. Chappelle-Nadal, violence is never okay. I find your comments to show a double standard based on your stand against police brutality in the Michael Brown case and the Ferguson riots. I hope that you and I can agree that no one should be physically harmed because of their skin color, their party affiliation, or their response to the tragedy in Charlottesville. But your comments cast doubt on this. The citizens of Missouri deserve better. I suggest you do the right thing for Missouri, first apologize to President Trump, then resign. Thank you, and God Bless You.
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