LEGAL BATTLES

Will Dan Choi Successfully Stare Down The White House’s Protest Charges?

In 1917, suffragette Alice Paul faced federal charges in court for picketing the White House. She was the last person to ever face such charges in court, until 2009. Then came Dan Choi. He got charged for chaining himself to the White House fence during a 2010 DADT protest. And today he’s still the lone individual still facing charges in court from that protest. The 12 other arrestees accepted an agreement to avoid a trial. So why has Choi decided to stay in court for his August 29th appearance?

One reason Choi has decided to see this through is to stay in the media spotlight and continue his high-profile momentum as a honorable soldier fighting against DADT and institutionalized homophobia. But on a larger point, Choi sees this as a First Amendment and Free Speech issue. He wants the White House to prosecute his right to free speech and for them to lose so he can emerge as a legitimate challenger to its power. And you know what? Having a young Korean-American fill that role would be pretty awesome.