In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare, former GOP spokesperson Matt Davis calls for an armed uprising
against the government of the United States. His language is explicit.
If government can mandate that I pay for something I don’t want, then what is beyond its power? If the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday paves the way for unprecedented intrusion into personal decisions, then has the Republic all but ceased to exist? If so, then is armed rebellion today justified?
God willing, this oppression will be lifted and America free again before the first shot is fired.
When asked for clarification, Davis responded:
“You can’t have people walking with lattes and signs and think the object of your opposition is going to take you seriously. Armed rebellion is the end point of that physical confrontation.”
Does this language qualify as treasonous? No, though I think it ought to. Article 3 of the Constitution reads thus:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Supreme Court ruled early on that charges of treason can be brought only if there is an actual "assembling of men."
Davis may, however, be guilty of sedition, as defined by this chapter
of the U.S. Code. To be specific, 18 USC § 2385 address the question of advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government. Since so much Republican rhetoric has slipped into this dangerous territory, I will inflict the full wording on my readers:
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
As near as I can tell, the last person convicted of sedition in the United States was "the Blind Sheik," Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who was involved with the first World Trade Center conspiracy in 1993. But did the above-quoted statute apply to him? Even though Rahman certainly deserves to spend his life in prison, I don't think he ever advocated the overthrow of the United States government.
Davis did. Or at least, he came that
close to doing so.