Use of Profanity in Public v. Obscenity

May 17, 2010 – In The News
FoxNews Radio Affiliates

Scott Vernick was interviewed regarding the recent lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has brought against police in Pennsylvania for issuing tickets for the use of profanity in public. The ACLU argues that the right to use profanity is protected by the First Amendment, and cites various other cases in which the court has found profanity, unlike obscenity, is protected speech. Roughly 750 people a year in Pennsylvania have been charged with disorderly conduct for the use of profanity; however, Pennsylvania is not alone with Michigan and New York issuing similar citations. The ACLU argues that there is a separate legal definition for obscenity that should not be applied to profanity.

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