Political Affiliation Influences How Voters View Weaponized Government

April 22, 2024 Political Affiliation Influences How Voters View Weaponized Government  image

Key Takeaways

  • Many Americans seem to believe the government and court system may be weaponized against citizens. However, they disagree about who is being targeted.
  • Liberals have recently used SCOTUS’ decision not to hear the Mckesson v. Doe case as evidence the courts are attacking protest rights in America.
  • Conservatives are not discussing Mckesson v. Doe as much but tend to voice concerns about weaponized prosecutions against January 6 participants.

Our Methodology


All Voters

Sample Size


Geographical Breakdown


Time Period

14 Days

MIG Reports leverages EyesOver technology, employing Advanced AI for precise analysis. This ensures unparalleled precision, setting a new standard. Find out more about the unique data pull for this article. 

A recent Supreme Court decision not to hear the Mckesson v. Doe case has sparked a robust online discussion. Much of the commentary seems to be from liberal and left leaning voters who support BLM and other social justice protests.

The case in question involved DeRay Mckesson, a civil rights activist, who was sued by an anonymous police officer (Doe) who was injured during a protest Mckesson organized in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2016. The lawsuit alleged Mckesson was responsible for the injuries because he should have anticipated violent actions during the protest.

SCOTUS’ decision essentially upholds a lower court ruling that organizers of protests can be held responsible for violence or illegal actions that occur, even if they didn't directly participate in or endorse such actions. This decision extends to the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Critics argue this decision essentially criminalizes protest organization.

Many discussing this subject seem to misunderstand the court decisions, believing SCOTUS made it illegal to protest, when in fact the court had declined to hear a case, leaving a lower court's decision in place.

The event has also sparked conversation about politicized and weaponized justice. MIG Reports data suggests liberals and conservatives both entertain ideas that the government and courts could be weaponized – however they disagree about whom the weaponization is against.

  • National sentiment towards SCOTUS is relatively high compared to protests and police.
  • Sentiment towards all topics related to protests and prosecutions for protests has declined slightly in the last two weeks.

Liberals Emphasizing Mckesson’s Plight

Those arguing the decision infringes upon the First Amendment tend to lean liberal. They say it’s chilling the right to protest by making organizers potentially liable for actions they cannot control. They see this as a move to criminalize dissent and express fear about the implications for democratic freedoms.

Some voice fears this could dissuade activists from organizing protests out of fear of legal repercussions. They argue holding organizers accountable for the actions of individuals within a protest is unfair and infringes upon the constitutional right to free speech and peaceful assembly.

Supporters of the decision argue protest organizers should be held accountable for any illegal activities that occur during their events. They believe this will deter violent protests and encourage peaceful assemblies. Although these voices tend to be more right leaning, there is much less discussion of the case among Republicans and conservatives.

Those who are discussing the case either blame Democratic leadership for lawlessness during protests or criticize Republican lawmakers for eroding democratic rights. The debate around this case highlights the partisan views many hold about protest rights, depending on the cause of the protest.

Contrasting Views of Weaponized Government

The politicized view of protests seems apparent when contrasting opinions about Mckesson v. Doe and January 6 prosecutions. Those who view the events of January 6 as an attack on democracy demand protesters be held accountable. These individuals frequently use terms such as "insurrectionists," "traitors," and "seditious clowns," and appear to be among the same group discussing the Mckesson v. Doe decision.

Liberal and progressive voters are more likely to call for the arrest, conviction, and jailing of J6 participants. This group also includes elected officials who they believe incited or supported the attack like former President Trump. Many demand a thorough investigation and express satisfaction when they see arrests and convictions.

Progressive and liberal voters express a sense of double standards in how different protests are handled. They say law enforcement response to the J6 demonstrators was less severe than responses to Black Lives Matter protests.

Conservatives View J6 Convictions as Weaponized

In contrast to liberals who claim lenience for Mckesson and maximum consequences for J6 defendants, conservatives view the courts as weaponized in the opposite direction. This group is more likely to claim J6 demonstrators were merely exercising their right to protest. They criticize the media and Democrats for applauding J6 convictions while shrugging off BLM protest violence.

Right leaning voters believe there is bias in the FBI's actions, specifically in the context of the prosecution of J6 participants. They contrast this with leniency towards leftist activists who commit crimes and violence in the name of Black Lives Matter of Palestine.

Conservatives are more likely to believe in the existence of the Deep State – a group of unelected bureaucrats manipulating the government. They express frustration and mistrust towards the government and politicians who politicize federal agencies and the court system.

There is a strong perception that conservatives are being unfairly targeted and labeled "domestic terrorists" by the FBI and other institutions.

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