• FILE - This Oct. 7, 2014, file photo shows a police officer dwarfed amid the marble columns of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent. But his wife didn't see it that way. Neither did a federal jury. In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday is considering whether Elonis' Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - This Oct. 7, 2014, file photo shows a police officer dwarfed amid the marble columns of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook ... about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent. But his wife didn't see it that way. Neither did a federal jury. In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday is considering whether Elonis' Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Nov. 18, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, as seen from the roof of the U.S. Capitol. Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent. But his wife didn't see it that way. Neither did a federal jury. In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday is considering whether Elonis' Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    FILE - This Nov. 18, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, as seen from the roof of the U.S. Capitol. Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about ... killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent. But his wife didn't see it that way. Neither did a federal jury. In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday is considering whether Elonis' Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (The Associated Press)

In arguments Monday, justices to weigh free speech rights of threatening language on Internet

Features Associated Press

The Supreme Court is examining the limits of free speech over the Internet in a case involving the use of violent or threatening language on Facebook.

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The justices will hear arguments Monday.

At issue is the case of a Pennsylvania man who was convicted of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to threaten another person.

He says he never intended to harm anyone when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent.

The government says the true test of a threat is whether his words made reasonable people feel threatened.

A federal appeals court rejected the man's claim that the comments were protected speech under the First Amendment.