Should members of the Armed Forces be allowed to use social media to voice political opinions? The answer to that question could decide the fate of Marine Sergeant Gary Stein this week, who is facing a "less than honorable" discharge for comments he made on Facebook criticizing President Obama.
Despite repeated attempts by Sergeant Stein to halt the process, a panel voted 3-0 last week to recommend he be discharged from the military – a move that would render him ineligible for veteran's benefits.
In a "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" exclusive, Marine Sergeant Gary Stein and his attorney Gary Kreep, Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation, explain to Soledad why this case cuts to the heart of the First Amendment and one's right to free speech.
There were two comments that were potentially in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which Stein claims were made on a closed forum on Facebook. He writes that President Obama is "a domestic enemy" and says "as an active duty Marine I say: screw Obama."
"I do believe that my words were somewhat tasteless, and I could have used better words," Stein says. "But the same point the principle behind it or the thoughts behind it thinking that the policies that the President has put forth in the last three and a half years have been crippling our economy, that's my personal opinion as Gary Stein. And it's my every right to say that."
His attorney argues that Stein can't be thrown out of the military for his actions, claiming the military violated their own rules in the way they are enforcing conduct rules on the case.
"I'm here to protect the constitution," Stein says. "I'm here to uphold and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And I never disobeyed an order."
Kreep says if they lose the Friday hearing on this case, they will file his case with the Ninth Circuit court.
Watch the interview above.