Sometimes there's a fine line between freedom of speech and a federal crime.
Take, for instance, the case of Hal Turner, an occasional talk show host on internet radio and blogger.
Turner was arrested Wednesday by the FBI in his New Jersey home on charges he threatened to murder three federal appeals court judges in Chicago following the trio's unanimous decision to uphold a handgun ban in Chicago and Oak Park.
In a blog posting, Crain's Chicago Business reports, Turner said that Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and judges Richard Posner and William Bauer “deserve to be killed.”
In addition to posting the judges’ photos and phone numbers, Turner included a map of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, where the judges work.
Perhaps that's where the line became less fine.
It turns out, Turner, known for his white supremacist views, has been on the radar of federal authorities before.
In the wake of the murder of the husband and mother of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow in 2005, Turner's web site carried the courthouse addresses of appeals court judges who had ruled against white supremacist Matthew Hale in a civil case.
Turner, 47, was charged Wednesday with making threats of assault and murder. If convicted, the charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.