The Washington Post, lamenting that personal threats against judges have doubled in six years, describes two basic kinds of culprit: defendants with anger management issues, and conservatives.
Worried federal officials blame disgruntled defendants whose anger is fueled by the Internet; terrorism and gang cases that bring more violent offenders into federal court; frustration at the economic crisis; and the rise of the “sovereign citizen” movement — a loose collection of tax protesters, white supremacists and others who don’t respect federal authority.
In their classic language guide Elements of Style, William Strunk and E.B. White encourage writers to avoid abstract language when a simpler, familiar, word will do. In that vein I would remind the Washington Post that most readers have never heard of ‘sovereign citizens’. The crazy band of teabaggers, racists, militiamen, abortion clinic bombers and secessionists could equivalently be known as ‘the Republican Party’.