Article Image
IPFS News Link • Free Speech

U.S. rights group sues to protect right to swear

• Reuters

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – An American rights group is suing the police in Pennsylvania for issuing tickets, which carry a jail sentence, to people for swearing.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed the lawsuits earlier, argues that the right to use profanity is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
"Unfortunately, many police departments in the commonwealth do not seem to be getting the message that swearing is not a crime," said Marieke Tuthill of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. "The courts have repeatedly found that profanity, unlike obscenity, is protected speech."
Obscenity, under the Supreme Court's definition, refers to speech that mainly appeals to the "prurient interest" in sex, according to the ACLU.
One lawsuit involves an unidentified woman in Luzerne County in northeast Pennsylvania who was given a citation which carries a maximum penalty of $300 and 90 days in jail after she yelled an offensive word at a motorcyclist who swerved close to her in October 2008.
In a separate case a man was arrested, cited for disorderly conduct and briefly jailed after shouting a double expletive at a policeman who was writing him a parking ticket.
The two are among at least 750 people in Pennsylvania a year who face illegal disorderly conduct charges because of the use of profanity in Pennsylvania, the ACLU said.
Citations for swearing have also been handed out in other states including Michigan and New York, according to the ACLU, which said it has successfully defended about a dozen people in profanity prosecutions.
But the group added that there are more citations given out in Pennsylvania than other states.
"Cops don't understand that there's a legal definition of obscenity and therefore issue citations for profanity," said Sara Mullen, a spokeswoman for the ACLU.
Tuthill added that the ACLU will continue to bring lawsuits until the practice of issuing citations for swearing is stopped.
Pennsylvania state police were not immediately available for comment.

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Concerned Patriot
Entered on:

I f**king hate it when people f*****g cuss it f*****g noise pollution to my ears i hate hearing the s**t. People who cuss can go suck a horse c**** and then get f****d in their b***c a**es and then eat s*** and die!!!!1!1!!!!!1111!!1!!!!!!eleven!!1




By the way powell your link dont work

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

Comment by Concerned Patriot
Entered on:


 Hey Oyate you out there?!

I have a question to ask are you really getting the "cra" beat out of you by one little troll? Well if so then i must be a pretty good troll even if you say otherwise.

As for the posting situation no one here is afraid to post some of this stuff does not warrant a comment so dont scapegoat me like you would the jews, if anything i have helped the conversation by uniting people against me and opening a dialogue with you starting it up.

Anyway your "frenemy" CP here has a solution to this mess, we could both settle this like the internet tough boys we are with a flame war. You could get your supporters and i could spread lies about this place on the /i/nsurgency board of, i could tell them how to post as oyate and ernest and tell them to go wild, if you thought the DESU blitz was stupid , well you have yet to see stupid, and racist. Oh the fun that could be had they might SPAM this place with ASCII art like rofl copters or giant penis' or they could go into the comments section and just post DESU or erotic Star Wars fanfiction who knows. All i know is i wont spread that plan around until you decide to declare war on trolls adn it doesnt even have to be you it could be ernest or powell or any of your fans here. But if that happens we will go after all of FP associated websites and the daily paul.

If i ruin myself here then i could join in as someone else with a different name, who knows i may already be posting as someone else with a different viewpoint. Maybe i planned on being a troll this whole tim.

Or maybe this was all a coincidence or accident, maybe i didnt want to be a troll again and i didn't realize i was a troll until it was to late and decided to roll with it until i hit the bottom and saw that i could not go back.


OK that last part was sad but if you want to step things up a notch we can do the flame war.