1st Amendment Violation.

Byline: Derek Hawkins

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Erik C. Schmidt

Case No.: 18-1259

Officials: RIPPLE, KANNE, and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.

Focus: 1st Amendment Violation

Erik Schmidt and his girlfriend were camping in a national forest in Wisconsin when a United States Forest Service Officer approached their campsite. The officer discovered that Mr. Schmidt, who had three prior felony convictions, had a handgun in his tent. A grand jury indicted Mr. Schmidt for, and he pleaded guilty to, one count of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). During a presentence interview with his probation officer, Mr. Schmidt communicated to the officer his belief in white supremacy, his hatred for minority races, and his desire to return to Germany to embrace his Nazi roots. At sentencing, the district court determined that Mr. Schmidt's white supremacist beliefs were evidence of his likelihood of future dangerousness and his lack of respect for the law. The district court sentenced Mr. Schmidt to 48...

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