- 2016 Annual Volume, Volume 44

Elonis v. United States: Why the Supreme Court Punted on Free Speech

Case Note by: David Barney

2016 PEPP. L. REV. 1 (2016)

In Elonis v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2001 (2015), the Supreme Court had a chance to interpret the boundaries of a federal statute forbidding threats transmitted in interstate or foreign commerce and to consider the constitutional implications of regulating such threats.  In its statutory analysis, the Court hesitated to declare how the law should be applied, and instead, only provided guidance as to how it should not be.  It likewise refrained from any further analysis on constitutional grounds entirely.  This contest winning student case note explores the opinion in depth and comments on its potential implications.