Pa. State Police To Stop Citing People For Using Profanity

HARRISBURG (CBS) – The ACLU of Pennsylvania says State Police have agreed to stop citing people for disorderly conduct when they use profanity.

Senior ACLU staff attorney Mary Catherine Roper says these citations are not unusual.

“And that’s why we started bringing these cases,” she said. “Because we are finding that police all over Pennsylvania have been issuing criminal citations because people use profanity.”

Roper says the case that brought about the settlement involved a Luzerne County woman who shouted an unkind epithet at a motorcyclist who swerved close to her. She says Pennsylvania State Police have agreed to stop citing people for cussing and to provide mandatory training for troopers about free speech.

Roper says Pittsburgh police agreed to a similar settlement and that ACLU will continue to take on local police departments that misuse the state’s disorderly conduct statute.

A spokesman for state police did not respond to requests for comment.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

More from Tony Romeo
Comments

One Comment

  1. duane p says:

    these citations are still being issued by pa state police in wyoming pa. and when the mag. drops them they rewrite it as another form of disorderly conduct

  2. DUANE P says:

    TO THE ACLU THESE CITATIONS ARE STILL BEING ISSUED BY THE WYOMING STATE POLICE

  3. Mark says:

    BS. Cops arrest people if they feel like it. If they can’t make a law work for there favor, they will make it work for another.

    1. Mark says:

      Sp. Their…(‘~,~)

      1. Tsimar says:

        The PA State Police should read this F Motion and drag themselves out of the 50s now. Are these people our mothers? Don’t they have any crime? Just our resources and no crime>

        http://scofacts.org/The-F-Motion.html

  4. Mike W says:

    F%(# The ACLU, another job well done in weakening the character and culture of our nation. F^&( U Senior ACLU staff attorney Mary Catherine Roper

    1. Joe says:

      Mike W: I normally don’t agree with them either. But can’t you see the irony of your post? The ACLU is protecting your right to post that without being arrested. You have just made a fool of yourself.

      1. kenny says:

        The ACLU doesn’t protect anything, you numbnuts. It’s the free speech clause of the US Constitution that gives people their rights. You…you’re just another educated idiot with a key pad.

  5. jose says:

    It never was disorderly conduct, that has been beaten in the Supreme Court before. Trouble is the cops abuse that statute to charge people with a crime when no crime has been committed. Cops don’t even know what really constitutes disorderly conduct.

  6. Sven says:

    ACLU of Ohio Legal Docket.

    Freedom of Speech: City of Lyndhurst vs. Scott Silver.

    Check it out. Need I say any more ??? This is NOT a Police State, yet !

  7. sean patriot says:

    Thank God the First Amendement lives on

    1. Its free speech. It works. It lets you know what you’re dealing with.
      They’re just words to strangers anyway.

  8. john Chroniger says:

    Unfortunately the issue should be directed towards those responsible for the lowering of standards that is so prevalent is our society, the violation of cultural norms.
    In the Politics of Deviance, Anne Hendershott writes “The discipline of sociology emerged out of a feeling that individualistic philosophies placed too little emphasis on the moral ties that linked people in society. In the earliest days of the fledgling discipline, Emile Durkheim wrote in one of the first sociology texts that deviance was an integral part of all societies because it affirms cultural values and norms. He believed that all societies required moral definition—some behaviors and attitudes must be defined as more advantageous than others.”
    She cites Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton as maintained that identifying deviant behavior was indispensable to the process of generating and sustaining cultural values, clarifying moral boundaries, and promoting social solidarity. And for much of the 20th century, defining deviance was viewed as a fundamental component of any society.
    She opines that in a society that has been so dramatically changed by shifts in values, social relations and political debates, a conception of deviance cannot exist. The value of egalitarianism, coupled with a growing reluctance to judge the behaviors of others, has made discussions of deviance obsolete. However she presents the presentation of Patrick Daniel Moynihan in a presentation to the 1992 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association as addressing a problem that sociologist had all but declared dead as an area of study.
    “Moynihan warned that for the past twenty-five years “society has chosen not to notice behavior that would be otherwise controlled, disapproved, or even punished.” For Moynihan, the social scientists that composed his audience had been complicit in this neglect: “Over the past generation, the amount of deviant behavior in American society has increased beyond the levels the community can afford to recognize. Accordingly, we have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the normal level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”
    The association participants hadn’t forgotten that in 1965, Moynihan had issued a government report which pointed to the “breakdown of the family” and a “culture of poverty” as having contributed to the overwhelming and seemingly intractable malaise of the inner city. He even had the audacity to predict that a community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families dominated by women is bound to be chaotic. He wrote that the absence of fathers in a community would have devastating consequences.
    In the world of sociologist “To speak negatively of single parent families, a culture of poverty, or the deviant behaviors of the underclass was “blaming the victim.” This was no longer allowed.”
    Praise came from such diverse political pundits as the Washington Post’s Mary McGrory, and National Review’s William F. Buckley. William Galston, an assistant to President Clinton, publicly supported the Senator’s message, as did conservative William Bennett.
    Despite this shift in what is now seen as the “politics of deviance,” there are signs that deviant behavior is beginning to be rediscovered and redefined by ordinary people who suffered the real-world consequences of the academic elite’s rejection of deviance beginning in the ’60s.
    Those whose communities have been broken by failed welfare policies, or whose families have fallen apart as a result of teenage pregnancy or divorce, are now speaking out about the moral chaos that is destroying their neighborhoods, their schools, and their families. The pendulum continues to swing; where it will stop is not clear.
    Deviance must not be defined by savvy marketing techniques promoted by politically powerful advocates. We must move away from the marketplace metaphor of defining deviance—and draw instead from nature, reason and common sense in determining what is deviant and in reaffirming the moral ties that bind us together.

    1. Harlowe Thrombey says:

      You won’t get higher cultural standards through laws. That’s impossible. In fact, now that police have stopped swearing…. people can make the ethical choice to be polite, without being forced to by law. This raises the cultural bar.

      If we use our police to act like Arabian Vice & Virtue cops… we’ll end up with a society that mimics Arabia.

  9. ARCHIE says:

    Where was the ACLU with the Black Panther voter intimidation, huh? I agree with this but why didn’t they speak up when Holder refused to prosecute?

    1. Michael N says:

      Because no one complained that they were intimidated except for a poll watcher from a different voting district. The Bush administration Justice Dept. downgraded the complaint from criminal to civil, and the Obama Justice Dept issued an injunction against the armed individual. The individual in question was asked to leave the polling area by Philadelphia police and complied, that’s why it was not a criminal issue. If there had been even one complaint of an individual who did not vote because of the actions of the idiot Black Panthers, then the Justice Department would have been required to step in.

      1. Smirking Troll says:

        That makes it all white now, doesn’t it?

  10. brian says:

    Jeez…people are offended by cuss…Wimps! That’s why tv is so full of beeping anthems, its barely watchable, because some wimpy whiner couldnt handle “words”. Toughen up all ready. I’d like to cite the people that can’t turn of the station that they are complaining about, or person, place or thing.

    1. Ladybug46 says:

      If one’s only words are profane, then that certainly says something about the level of one’s values, one’s education–because they can’t think of something more intelligent to say. Settiling something without being profane–now there’s a way to show one’s maturity-ssomething many seem to never achieve.

  11. Jon says:

    I’m fine with the police allowing all forms of cursing and name calling. However, when you flip someone off and call them a Mother F$%^@#, don’t call the police when you get punched in the face.

  12. LostGirl says:

    Hey, geniuses. From the Cornell U Law School:

    The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message. The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

    A category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment.

    A comprehensive, legal definition of obscenity has been difficult to establish. Yet key components of the current obscenity test stem from a District Court case tried in 1933. United States v. One Book Called “Ulysses” 5 F. Supp. 182 (S.D.N.Y 1933), aff’d United States v. One Book Entitled Ulysses by James Joyce, 72 F2d 705 (2nd Cir. 1934) determined that a work investigated for obscenity must be considered in its entirety and not merely judged on its parts.

    Currently, obscenity is evaluated by federal and state courts alike using a tripartite standard established by Miller v. California 413 U.S. 15 (1973). The Miller test for obscenity includes the following criteria: (1) whether ‘the average person, applying contemporary community standards’ would find that the work, ‘taken as a whole,’ appeals to ‘prurient interest’ (2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and (3) whether the work, ‘taken as a whole,’ lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

  13. JustMe says:

    LOL You rock!! LOL

  14. JustMe says:

    My question now is: Whatever happened to just good old ‘respect’ for not just others, but for one’s self? It’s pitiful and sad how I hear the young girls, who are ‘supposed’ to be ‘ladies’, do more cursing than sailors. And then they can’t understand why young men don’t respect them the way they should. Well, hello, they’re not respecting themselves.

    1. notinyourlife says:

      Do you really think that most cops deserve respect at all? Let see, lying, extortion, brutality, corruption….where should I stop. I’ll start being respectful when these wannabe soldiers are subjected to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Maybe when they start behaving like honorable public SERVANTS and not thugs with a badge, I’ll change my tune.

      1. Bustyn says:

        Do you really think that citizens deserve any respect at all? Let see, killing, raping, molesting, brutality, corruption . . . where should I stop?

        Do you see how asinine your comment is? Painting all cops with such a broad brush is as stupid as painting all citizens with that same broad brush. The fact that you do not respect others says a lot about you. Mainly, that you’re selfish, self centered, and egotistical. With those characteristics, you’ll not likely see public servants, or average citizens treating you with anything but the contempt you deserve. Grow up you spoiled brat.

      2. LostGirl says:

        Next time you’re in trouble, call a clown.

  15. John tartis says:

    Ha,ha,ha,ha.

  16. Whatzamatta-u says:

    Cursing may be free speech but it is still vulgar and trashy. The P C police should spend more effort reminding Americans about how shallow we appear when we curse. I am surrounded by people who cannot say three words in a row without an F… Or an MF thrown in for effect. Unfortunately the effect makes the speaker look bad.

    1. Bustyn says:

      Unfortunately I think the recent surge in profanity use is directly related to the decline in education. Uneducated people struggle to find the words to effectively communicate, due to a very limited vocabulary. I’m sure, if they had a larger word bank in their mental arsenal, they would happily used civilized dialog, rather than frustratingly throwing up the F bomb because they can’t find a proper word to express their dissatisfaction.

      1. ARCHIE says:

        Ah, b.s.! Maybe you have all kinds of fancy-smancy words because you so desperately need to feel better than everyone else. There’s nothing like a good 4-letter word.

      2. JustMe says:

        You may be correct, but it’s more than not having much of a vocabulary. It’s the lack of ‘self discipline’. People ‘choose’ to say what they say. And even though they know it’s wrong to curse, society tells them that it’s social acceptable to curse. I remember a time when a ‘Gentleman’ would not curse in front of a ‘Lady’. And if a guy was cursing, he told his buddy, “watch your mouth …. there are Ladies present”. But, now we go to the sad fact that females of today (not all of them) curse worse than men sometimes. But, they want men to respect them. Same for men. They want females to respect them, but, how can you expect a female to respect you when you’re calling them the ‘B’ word? It’s just a sad state of no discipline, and the children are hearing all of this too.

  17. Mark Hammitt says:

    So public spaces have now become safe zones for vulgar behavior, hiding self-righteously behind a veneer of free speech. That’s all free speech means to you guys… the right to behave boorishly in public? How about public defecation? Is that OK?

    There are plenty of common sense infringements on free X we make all the time, few of which have any material impact on our liberties — certainly less than the free-for-all spending of our Congress.

  18. Matt Chappel says:

    Another reminder for everyone… “Curse words” are totally subjective to opinion. Words that may be inappropriate to YOU may not be to others. So once the government starts banning particular words, when does it end? It’s a slippery slope is it not? Of course I don’t advocate cursing out people…. But I’ll advocate that before I’ll advocate the government telling me what I can or cannot say. If you value freedom AT ALL, you’d agree with me. That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact.

  19. john says:

    I’d like to cite the ACLU!

  20. Bob says:

    who said this is a free country…you are free to do whatever the govt tells you or vote them out (but of course the electoral college system was designed to minimize the impact of any specific voting block). Thank — for the ACLU (can I say God?!? or will the thought police get me)

  21. AG says:

    This is what the ACLU is up to? You’d think they could do something worthwhile… oh, wait — ACLU. Never mind.

    1. Rob Johnson says:

      Jeez AG, as a libertarian freedom of speech (like all the other rights in the bill of rights) is a BIG deal to me. Sorry to hear the constitution is not a big deal to you.

      What really shocks me though is that I agree with the ACLU. In my 40 some years of life this is a pretty rare thing! When did the ACLU get on the side of the constitution? My god, are they going to start paying attention to the second amendment as well? … … … Nawwwww! lol!

    2. LostGirl says:

      AG – Word. They are mainly driven to protect people who do wrong. And as for all you naysayers out there – like Bob – people like you misinterpret free speech for your own convenience. Have any small children? How about I come over to your house and stand out front yelling every expletive I know? Would that be effin cool for your kids?

      Matt – What exactly is fact?

  22. Disgusted says:

    Hey, morons, if you want people to post, try not reloading the page constantly. I lost what I was typing because of that stupidity.

    1. drpageiv says:

      Type in your Word program and then copy and paste.

  23. Iron Head says:

    Put me on Death Row!

  24. moonmac says:

    I would of been arrested 1000 times by now. I have a bad temper which is my Freaking right as long as I don’t hurt someone with violence. You do NOT have the right to not be offended or hear bad words you Facist Pigs!!!

    1. Doug says:

      Wow aren’t you a tough little bully. It is MY right to say what I want when I want. It is NOT YOUR right to sackup if front of the wife and have any physical contact with me. If you want to control what the wifey and kids hear keep them at home. Otherwise suck it up. What a bleeding heart democrat….

    2. Mark says:

      If I ever meet you ill make sure to swear right at your wife and kids, take your punch then laugh as your hauled off to jail and their crying their eyes out…idiot

    3. jerrybasher says:

      I’m gonna beat your ass jerry! I’m gonna find you and cuss around your family and then tear off your arm and beat you silly with your own torn off arm!

    4. al says:

      Its spelled f-a-s-c-i-s-t

      1. nunya says:

        so not the spelling police has arrived

      2. Ylem says:

        People like you are really annoying! Why do you have to correct everyone’s spelling? Does it make you feel more important?

    5. Rob Johnson says:

      Amen brother!

  25. Danbury says:

    But it’s still a P.C. crime to use the so-called “N-Word” (meaning both n!gger or Negro) and Mark Twain’s “HUckleberry Finn” is being re-written. I supposed “African-American Jim” will now become the P.C. nomenclature.

    Hey, Teresa Kerry is African-American but she’s Caucasian (or is it the “C-word”?)

    I’m confused.

    Puzzled Honky

  26. Michael M. says:

    I hate 2nd hand profanity.

    There should be a maximum fine of $20 for punching someone in the mouth when they swear in front of you.

    1. Rob Johnson says:

      So you hate the first amendment?

      Did you mommy never tell you “sticks and stones will break my bones but words can never harm me?” I guess not. Clearly your mother did not do a very good job if words bother you so much you want to commit violence.

      Socrates said, (paraphrased from memory) “A wise man can never be offended for he seeks the truth and can not be offended by them and lies are not worthy of his notice.” So according to Socrates you are not wise and its apparent your mother did not raise her children very well by teaching them the most basic of life lessons. {Sigh}

    2. Archie says:

      Wow… Were you beaten as a child when you used a 4-letter word? It would explain your violent nature.

  27. Aunt Bee says:

    Well la-de-fricking – da. How nice of these degenerates to allow us free speech. What’s next? What great thing is government going to do for us now?

    http://911essentials.com

  28. Matt Chappel says:

    No one wants to deny free speech in regards to Christianity. What a farce. Exactly how Christians not allowed free speech? Can you give me even ONE example? Are you seriously trying to convince us that Christians are persecuted in the United States? HA!!!
    If anything, Christians want to be the ONLY religious group allowed to freely express their ideas. Remember that in America, EVERY religious group has just as much a right to express themselves as Christians. So if you’re okay with Christian messages in a public space you HAVE to be okay with, say, Muslim messages in a public space. THAT is what “freedom of religion” means.

    1. Jon says:

      Of course you would relate that to somethinbg muslim you liberal p uke. muslims suck and so do you

    2. A. Levy says:

      Matt, that you are not aware of the fact that there exists a strong anti-Christian bias in the US makes everything else you said moot.

      1. Matt Chappel says:

        That’s a joke. Provide me proof. Christians RUN this country. What, you think you’re persecuted because we have a 2nd amendment? You think you’re persecuted because other religions are allowed in this country? Give me some examples of how poor mistreated Christians are persecuted. I dare you!

      2. Anthony says:

        You have in the same first amendment you feel allows you to behave profanely in public the guarantee of the free expression of religion.

        If you’ll recall an attack was made against Christian prayer in public schools preventing children form the free exercise of religion.

        Going back to your freedom of speech concept…Public Schools have also moved to prevent the Pledge of Allegiance or, tying both the Speech and Religion issues, remove the God line from the pledge.

        but I suppose those are okay things to remove…no matter the free exercise rights granted in the First Amendment.

        We can continue if you’d like…Religious displays have been banned on public property for years upon years..this is in direct violation of the free exercise concept, no?

        the Christmas Village in Philadelphia was required to remove “Christmas” from its title because of fear offending non Christians this year..but I guess that’s one you missed as well.

      3. James says:

        Prayer doesn’t belong in public school. Not everyone prays. Children are not prohibited from praying in school but a school led prayer is prohibited. Learn your history of the pledge. The original pledge does not have the words “under God” in it. We have a Catholic Religious group known as the Knights of Columbus to thank for that one. It should never have been changed. The only time religious displays are brought into question or should be are when only one group’s view is being represented. And the “Christmas” is still in the “Christmas” village after there was public discussion on it. You have the freedom to choose or not to choose any religion. But that religion does not have the right to dictate what others should or should not believe.

      4. Matt Chappel says:

        Anthony….

        ALL of the situations you mentioned occurred in public places. Public places are to remain religiously neutral. Why? Because we don’t have a national religion and we are not a theocracy. Public space is SECULAR.

        You’re mistaking the NEUTRALITY of public property for personal religious persecution.

        Public property in this country must represent ALL religions or none. It’s that simple.

        You wanna get your buddies together and have a Bible study? Go ahead. No one is stopping you. You want to go to church? You want to send your kids to private school? Fine. No one is stopping you.

        The problem arises when you force the public at large to be part of your personal religious activities. And while I don’t necessarily agree with government stepping in and crushing the nativity scene, I can see why public spaces need to be secular.

        Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims in America pay taxes too. Would you be cool with THEIR religious symbols being pasted all over the place? If not, you’re being a hypocrite.

        Again, no one is persecuting Christians, and I hope no one here actually falls for that rubbish.

  29. marder says:

    I went to jail for telling a woman I was going to call her corprate head quarters to report her poor service! The police said “I made her FEEL threatened. So this stuff is no surprise to me….political correctness gone overboard! You can’t even complain anymore…let alone curse!

    1. cupcake says:

      you should have just called corporate and not told her…

    2. yeahright says:

      Hmm me thinks there is more to that story, or you werent smart enough to file a suit after that.

  30. Matt Chappel says:

    Just a reminder… People with children aren’t entitled to special protection from foul language once they venture into a PUBLIC space. If you had kids with the assumption that the entire world would revolve around them, you were wrong. If you don’t want your kid to hear foul language, never let them out of the house. Don’t assume that you have the right to punish the rest of society because you decided to procreate.

    1. CAB says:

      Just a reminder for you as well sir…Don’t assume you have the right to punish the rest of society just because you want to speak in a profane manner. While you may or may not have a fine enough command of the English language to express yourself, that does not mean that I want to hear your profanity. I’ve never had the assumption that the world revolves around my children, but it certainly doesn’t revolve around you either. Simply because someone is in a public space does not give them the right to impede someone else, physically or verbally. Whatever happened to simply being polite?

      1. losersall says:

        I love my kids but Matt is right, freedom of SPEECH is protected, not “Freedom to not be offended” Deal.

      2. Matt Chappel says:

        No CAB. You’re wrong. The Constitution upholds freedom of speech. The Constitution doesn’t guarantee your kids won’t hear my words. Nor does it guarantee that people have to be “polite”. You may WANT me to be polite. You may WANT your kids never to hear foul language, but it’s not GUARANTEED in the Constitution. Please familiarize yourself with the Constitution before typing.

      3. Josh-o says:

        Being polite is what got us into this “police state” mess in the first place! We all need to make some noise and tell these thugs to stop suppressing us middle class people.

        Besides, I have heard people use ever cuss word in the book in the politest of manners! So your argument is a moot point!

    2. catholiccowboy says:

      Nice….you don’t even realize that buy allowing this type of disrespectful behaviour to continue we are slipping into a world where nobdy is safe, you fool. Don’t think for one minute that it doesn’t matter. On day you will understand …when the world that you promote becomes the world that closes in on you….don’t say you where never warned!!!

      1. Matt Chappel says:

        So allowing people to speak freely puts you in danger? Wow… That’s completely and totally ridiculous. What ever happened to the Constitution? Kudos to the ACLU for actually upholding it for once.

    3. Rob Johnson says:

      {Applause} Woot! Yeah buddy!

    4. Anthony says:

      Someone should read the Constitution…the right to Free Speech is recognized solely when speaking at or against the government. It does not give you the right to say whatever you want without reprisal or punishment.

      Your view of children is also amusing..the right to procreate is fundamental it goes beyond the bill of rights..and you suggest somehow that you are burned by others exercising this right?

      I’d suggest that in much the same way parents shouldn’t expect you to avoid profanity…you should be equally accepting the next time you’re on a flight with a crying baby…in a movie theater with a cranky child..at a restaurant with a pestering child..or at the mall with an obnoxious..after all they have the right to be just what they are..and you getting irritated or upset by it is simply unacceptable..

      Remember Matt your rights end where the next person’s begin. I sincerely hope that the next time you’re behaving in such a profane manner another person takes it upon themselves to point out in as profane and vulgar a manner exactly how poorly they view your own behavior. Something tells me you wouldn’t be very supportive of that exercise of free speech..

      1. Matt Chappel says:

        “Someone should read the Constitution…the right to Free Speech is recognized solely when speaking at or against the government. It does not give you the right to say whatever you want without reprisal or punishment.”

        Nope. Wrong.

        The Constitution governs all of the PUBLIC sector. The private sector is not governed by the Constitution. So if you’re in PUBLIC, the Constitution is your guidepost… trumped only by local law if it doesn’t contradict Constitutional law.

        “Your view of children is also amusing..the right to procreate is fundamental it goes beyond the bill of rights..and you suggest somehow that you are burned by others exercising this right?”

        You’re twisting my words.

        I never questioned the right to procreate. I questioned the stance that people believe the presence of their children in a public place negate my first amendment rights… Which they don’t.

        If I’m cursing on private property, it’s up to the property owner to deal with it. If I’m cursing on public property, I have that right per the 1st amendment.

        Your kids have the right to exist, and I have the right to use profanity around them unless we’re on private property.

        It’s really very simple.

    5. LostGirl says:

      Oh, Matt, you couldn’t be more off the mark if you tried:

      The Supreme Court has repeatedly grappled with problematic elements of the Miller test for obscenity. However, to date, no standard has replaced it. In 1997, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union 521 U.S. 844 (“ACLU I”) addressed obscenity in the field of new media. The ACLU challenged the Communications Decency Act (CDA), a portion of the 1996 Telecommunications Act aimed at protecting children by restricting transmissions sent over the Internet. After the Supreme Court ruled the CDA overly broad in its approach to regulating obscenity online, Congress passed the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The ACLU again filed suit, which became Ashcroft v. Civil Liberties Union (00-1293) 535 U.S. 564 (2002) 217 F.3d 162 (“ACLU II”). Aschcroft, upheld the Constitutionality of COPA and deemed its use of “’community standards’ to identify ‘material that is harmful to minors’” acceptable practice under the first amendment. However, the Court also demanded that COPA be enjoined and the case be remanded to the Third Circuit, where the Court found COPA created a content-ban on adult transmissions, was overly broad, intrusive, and restrictive in its efforts to protect children from adult speech.

      1. Matt Chappel says:

        So…. get to the point. You threw out all these rulings and you never came to a conclusion.

        Plus, most of the rulings you mention are in regards to ONLINE activity. We’re discussing public sector activity…. Not internet land.

        I stand by my first post.

  31. Joep says:

    I was charged with disorederly conduct for telling a Dallas Police officer that cops are a## holes.

    1. Danbury says:

      You should have referred to them as “Anuses.” How classless!

      1. Doug Piranha says:

        Use the word ani. If alumni is the plural of alumnus, then ani is the plural of…well, you get it.

      2. joep says:

        We already live in a country where you can go to jail for speaking out against the government, I was fined for petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I was given a ticket for telling an officer to go f#%k himself. Go figure.

      1. Josh-o says:

        What a wonderful world we live in where the ‘police state” gets to do whatever they want to the people that pay their salaries! Furthermore we have NO recourse against them!

        SICK just SICK!

    3. Josh-o says:

      Nice…so…if you personally offend a police officer you get a criminal record? Wow these cops are A$$H@LES

      How about upholding the LAW, after all that is the primary job of a police officer is anyway!

  32. Jim Starkweather says:

    I guess I will have the right of free speech to cuss people out for swearing in public then? Morons…

    1. Matt Chappel says:

      Yes you do… And why shouldn’t you? Why is it such an outlandish idea that adults in a free society should be allowed to say what they want? Do you people WANT a fascist country?

      1. Andy says:

        Do I WANT a fascist state? No, but neither do I want an anarchic state where I can’t take a peaceful walk on a public sidewalk or play with my kids at a public park without being forced to listen to “f” this and “f-ing” that and “mf*r” the other, or watch people engage in public sex, defecation, urination and masturbation, all in the name of “free speech” or “free expression.” Any idea that can be expressed using the “f” word can just as well be expressed without it. Free speech is in no danger.

        Your answer is that I and my kids and anyone else who doesn’t want that should just stay in our houses and never leave them. How would that be meaningfully different to me than a fascist state?

        I’m not fond of the notion of collectivist totalitarianism, but neither am I fond of the notion of any individual being able to destroy the community’s peaceable use of public spaces the taxpayers are all paying for. We control dogs and what they do in public spaces. We require dog owners to pick up their dogs’ excrement. Why should we not require people to refrain from spewing it out of their mouths?

  33. Clearhead says:

    Finally! Unlimited free speech!! Now you can curse God if you want to, but don’t ever, ever, EVER use the “N” word!

    1. Jon says:

      Do you mean n igger…..

      1. Jewfromhell says:

        Not if u be white!

  34. Mike says:

    Tape every foul word know to mankind, park in front of the ACLU headquarters, and blast them with it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  35. Steven W says:

    This is a good thing, the less our government federal or local try to control our lives is one step back to true freedom of speech. We should not criminalize how people talk or we are no better than the commies. It is each persons PERSONAL responsability to choose his words and be a pillar for others to look up too, those that choose profanity are just lost souls who can’t speak like an intellegent person. If we as citizens decide to ignore those kinds of people then we will have won and would not need another law. Each of us is responsible to not encourage that behavior. As our constitution tells us that we have the right to speak any ways we want, as it should be.

    1. steam dwarf says:

      easy to say ignore someone screaming foul language at you and your family on the street. actually it’s a pretty stupid thing to suggest.

      1. Matt Chappel says:

        Steam dwarf… If you don’t like people screaming profanity at you, remove yourself from the situation. It goes both ways. Remember, the world doesn’t revolve around “your family”. What a stupid and selfish thing to suggest.

      2. NotSurprised says:

        Matt Chappel – Don’t you think it’s just as selfish to beat down a family with profanity? When did the rights of the profanity user become more precious? Open your mind to both sides of the debate.

      3. A. Levy says:

        Here in NYC, we have a simply, but very effective solution for people who curse your family in public. But it will require that an ambulance be close by for the curs’er.

      4. Matt Chappel says:

        @ NotSurprised. Yes I think it’s selfish to curse out a family, but it’s not UNLAWFUL. Why can’t people realize that their “personal feelings” and the law don’t always coincide? THAT is selfish. If the government decides we can’t say curse words, what words will they ban next? Do you see the slippery slope? Can you see outside your tiny box of a perspective?

    2. Katie says:

      It’s really too bad that the idiots that are always crying ‘Freedom of Speech’ are so ignorant. Free Speech does NOT mean that a person can say literally anything that they want. The ACLU and the rest of the PC Patrol pick & choose their battle so that any moral decency is destroyed while stupidity and lack of common sense increases.

      If the ACLU wants people to be able to use profanity freely, then they should also be defending the ticked off husband who takes matters into his own hands after some punk has just checked out his wife & used profanity to express his opinions!

      1. Bob in Texas says:

        Please help me understand what profanity is? Is there a list of profane words?

      2. Rob Johnson says:

        Why he should feel complimented the punk thinks his wife is hot.

        When did anyone ever get the idea you have the right not to be offended? It’s just laughable what a nation of wimps we, no YOU have become.

    3. Danbury says:

      Have you tried using “Negro” or “Mulatto” or “Lawn Jockey” lately? So much for free speech.

      1. Knock, knock!!

        Whose there?

        The word police, you have used “Negro”, “Mulatto” and “Lawn Jockey” in your speech

        You are off to the reeducation camp by order of the Obama administration and the FCC

      2. A. Levy says:

        This nonsense will only get worse as long as people continue to subscribe to, and be addicted to, political correctness. PC is a greater threat to our freedom and liberty than is terrorism…

  36. Disqusted says:

    I would like to ask Mary Catherine Roper of the ACLU, where are my rights, as a parent, to protect my child from individuals exercising their “free speech” in public. Children are exposed to so much adult content today than ever before though the internet, television (including the Disney Channel), and through uncaring adults. One only needs to drive down the road and see bumper stickers containing words that my mother would have placed a bar of soap in my mouth for an hour if I was to utter them in her presence. Society expects our children to be adults long before they are mentally and emotionally ready.
    When the Founding Fathers provided for “Free Speech” in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, I don’t believe that they thought it would be construed to protect the profane. As we continue to lower our standards more and more, the profane becomes more and more acceptable, we as a Society continue to suffer because of it.
    I am not one who sits on an Ivory Tower of pure, clean language. I have use colorful language from time to time, but I know that there is a time and place for it.

    1. Gary says:

      Protected from free speech? What is it you think will happen to them if they hear a profanity?

      Keep your kids in the house, turn off the TV and disconnect the Internet. I’m sure that will help them mature into adults “ready” to hear such words.

      The First Amendment does not qualify the speech or suggest what speech is allowed and what isn’t. It expressly forbids the government from passing any law the restricts speech.

    2. Detex says:

      EASY – DON’T – HAVE – CHILDREN

      1. Rob Johnson says:

        Detax- I agree. In fact I go a step further- @Disgusted – PLEASE- for all our sakes do NOT have children, clearly your are not emotionally mature enough for to raise children and they will undoubtedly be a burden for all of us in the long run.

    3. "JUST SAYING" says:

      Disqusted, you are an idiot and very likely a communist, “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” is just that “FREE SPEECH”, I am no advocate of for the foul mouthed losers that walk among us (the cussing actually burns my ears and offends my intelligence), however cursing or swearing doe’s not amount to a criminal offense that could ruin a persons life forever, What if that poor lost soul should in fact straighten up their language later on in life?? Should their future be destroyed just because they cursed ten years before, now we have a person that cant get a good job because they cursed, and now have become a burden to Joe\Jane taxpayer and are bitter on society.. Here is a novel idea, how about you be a RESPONSIBLE PARENT and when you hear someone cursing in the presence of your children, TEACH your children that is not the correct way to express themselves nor communicate…If responsible parents like you and I would just teach OUR CHILDREN that basic communication principle, then just maybe with a lot of work on our part and a little help from God, maybe we can eliminate the use of profanity overall as our children one and begin to talk to each other in less offensive ways and in time those principles will be passed on to generation after generation, but locking them up (the foul mouthed losers) and ruining their futures is not the answer….”JUST SAYING”

    4. Matt Chappel says:

      Here’s a better question: Why do you think you’re entitled to more rights than everyone else simply because you popped out kids?

      1. Charles Little says:

        Its the children who have proteccted rights.

      2. Matt Chappel says:

        Children have the same rights as everyone else per the Constitution.

    5. Anonymous says:

      So, how do you teach your children what words NOT to say without telling them what words to look out for? I’m just asking?

    6. Rob Johnson says:

      “I would like to ask Mary Catherine Roper of the ACLU, where are my rights, as a parent, to protect my child from individuals exercising their “free speech” in public”

      You don’t have such any nor should you. They are just words. Your precious little darlings will survive JUST FINE. Really! Jeez, what is the matter with you that you think bad words are going to do some kind of harm to your children? What kind of mental defect leads to such poor reasoning skills?

      Perhaps a more important question should be “Can people who have mental defects to the point that they believe foul language will damage children be Allowed to procreate and therefore perhaps perpetuating the mental condition the prospective parent has?

      1. inalianablerights says:

        You do not understand how freedoms as outlined in the constitution work. Just because you have a freedom does not mean you can infringe on the freedoms of others. I have the right to walk in a public place with my children without hearing foul language or witnessing obscene behavior. You have the right to freedom of religion as long as you don’t infringe on the inalienable rights of others. People can, and should be arrested for using foul language in front of minors. We have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as long as we do not take away the rights of others. What if your speech incites a riot? The supreme court has made it clear that certain objectionable speech is unconstitutional. For example you can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded theater and not be responsible for the injuries your stupidity may have caused.

  37. Alec says:

    Once again, thank you Ed Rendell and the other PA democrats for ruining our state. It’s a laughing stock and a joke, the cops are votech fools at best with little to no discretionary abilities.

    These democrats have killed us in PA. John Street, Ed Rendell, Michale Nutter

    1. A. Levy says:

      No Alec, it’s the weak-minded fools who vote that killed your beautiful state. Generally speaking, Americans don’t have the intellect to have so much power. Proof? Just take a look at the govt…

    2. Rob Johnson says:

      Don’t blame the cops. They just enforce what other idiots decide.

  38. hillcoguy says:

    Pa. State Police To Stop Citing People For Using Profanity
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Definition of PROFANE
    transitive verb
    1: to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrate
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I hear a whole lot of that, obscenity and vugarities out the wazoo, but very little profanity… maybe Pa. is different!

  39. OldTimeCop says:

    Oops! Second sentence of my other post should start with They instead of The. I wouldn’t want some whiner slicing and dicing my whole post because of a typo.

    1. Anonymous says:

      LOL And you know they would have too. LOL

  40. OldTimeCop says:

    That’s because the gene pool for prospective police officers is empty. The cannot function without computers and high tech gadgets. They are uneducated due to public school indoctrination, can’t spell, read, or write a complete sentence. Today’s police, wearing shorts and golf shirts look and act unprofessional in order to establish some kind of “cool looking” image. What ever happened to cops who wore professional uniforms, knew the people in their beats, and could be holding 3 reports while trying to write a fourth in a patrol car. All this, plus the relaxation of hiring standards which allow prior drug usage and certain psychological issues to be excluded has led to inferior, uneducated, misfits being placed in positions of public trust.

    1. Charles Little says:

      great observation!

    2. Danbury says:

      How right you are!

  41. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    1. LostGirl says:

      Bornblahblahpolitical – You need to post more than that. See my previous two posts. It DOES NOT GIVE US the right to say whatever we want, whenever we feel like it.

      People love to throw that phrase around and most of you don’t even understand what it says. You just take the “freedom of…” or the “right to…” and fill in your own interpretations.

      Everyone is always so big on their “rights” – but NO ONE EVER asks, what are my responsibilities? – that inherently attach to rights.

      Again, let me come over and curse outside your window during a family event. Then again, people who applaud this sort of behavior probably don’t have family events. Unless they look like something from Springer.

  42. Richard B. says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how police in many jurisdictions across the United States (certainly not just in Pennsylvania) have little or no sense of what it means to protect and serve a free people — and protect, rather than persecute, them when they exercise that freedom. Where do they get such ideas?

    1. duane p says:

      i am with you richard,i was assaaulted by a neighbor with a shovel a few weeks ago and came home from recovering in the hospital to find out that instead of filing charges against the neighbor for assault they cited him and myself for harrassment……i was on my property and never touched or said a word to this neighbor..but what can you do other than spend hard earned money for an atty

      1. Bustyn says:

        You can defend yourself for starters. Don’t settle for being a victim and then having to spend money on an attorney. Invest in a weapon, a bat, pepper spray, a taser, or even a gun. If I had been in your shoes then your neighbor would be coming home from the hospital complaining about having to hire an attorney, and not the other way around. Sometimes I think we’ve lost our self preservation instinct.

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