NEW YORK — A federal appeals court judge from Chicago testified yesterday that he felt threatened by a New Jersey blogger's inflammatory Internet tirades over a ruling supporting gun control.
The rant against the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel "was a threat of violence," Judge William Bauer told jurors at a retrial in Brooklyn. "It suggested that the country would be better off if we were killed."
The death threat case against Hal Turner stems from the 7th Circuit panel’s ruling in 2009 by Bauer and two other judges, Frank Easterbrook and Richard Posner, that upheld a district court decision dismissing lawsuits that challenged handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill.
On the same day as the 7th Circuit ruling, Turner blasted the decision with a lengthy online post. In one passage, he quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying, "The tree of liberty must be replenished from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots," court papers said.
Authorities say Turner then went too far by writing: "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges must die. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty."
Bauer testified that one of his clerks alerted ...