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The #@*&! Problem

Rob244 Wrote: Jun 18, 2012 11:28 PM
I'd try to enlighten you, but one should never argue with a fool.

BY A VOTE of 183-50, town meeting members in Middleborough, Mass., last week approved a bylaw making public cursing a civil offense and authorizing police to enforce the ban by fining offenders $20.

Town Hall may find it hard to collect on those fines. Assuming Cohen v. California is still good law, the First Amendment's protection of free speech extends to using four-letter words in public, and as soon as the new ordinance is challenged it will almost certainly be struck down. Legally, town authorities don't have a leg to stand on. But their concern with enforcing public standards...

Related Tags: Paternalism