Lawyers ask to block Marine discharge hearing

AP News
Posted: Apr 03, 2012 10:09 PM
Lawyers ask to block Marine discharge hearing

Lawyers for a Marine who made critical statements about President Barack Obama on Facebook are seeking a federal court order to block a discharge hearing slated for Thursday at Camp Pendleton.

According to the filing, lawyers for 26-year-old Sgt. Gary Stein say his views are protected by the First Amendment.

Stein, a nine-year member of the Marine Corps, has said he started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights.

The military has had a policy since the Civil War limiting the free speech of service members, including criticizing the commander in chief.

Military law experts and free speech advocates say Stein may have crossed the line.