A federal appeals court judge from Illinois testified Wednesday that he felt threatened by a New Jersey blogger's inflammatory Internet tirades over a ruling supporting gun control.
The rant against a three-judge panel in Chicago "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 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 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.
The same day, Turner blasted the decision with a lengthy post online. 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.