Thread Virginia exempt from 1st Amendment

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
35,330
9,395
473
40
Oz
Court rules although it's probably unconstitutional, you can be arrested in Virginia for cursing

http://timesnews.net/article.php?id=9031811

Cursing a cop in Virginia may be hazardous to your health and the legal system may not afford you any legal redress.

Instead the police can arrest you under an anti-cursing law that is probably unconstitutional. That appears to be the lesson from a recent federal appeals court case arising out of Prince William County.

In October 2005 Robert Harrison was riding in the front passenger seat of a car driven by his friend. As they entered an apartment complex in Woodbridge, Va., they found vehicles blocking the road. The driver rolled down his window and asked a woman near one of the cars if they could pass.

The woman turned out to be Prince William County police officer Jennifer Evans. She told another officer, John Mora, that Harrison and the driver had made inappropriate sexual comments to her. After Mora told the men to desist from making such comments, Harrison called Mora a “bitch.”

Mora arrested Harrison for violating a state anti-profanity law, which says that “if any person profanely curses or swears or is intoxicated in public … he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.” Harrison alleged that Mora and other officers used excessive force by pounding him into the pavement. A magistrate later charged Harrison with violating two other disorderly conduct-type ordinances.

In July 2008 Harrison sued the Prince William County Police Department and Officer Mora for alleged violations of numerous constitutional rights, including illegal seizure, false arrest, excessive force and other claims. The case proceeded to a jury. The trial judge submitted instructions to the jury — standard practice in court cases — that included the language of the anti-cursing law and other statutes. The jury ruled in favor of the police defendants, including Prince William County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane.

Harrison appealed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, contending that the cursing statute was constitutionally invalid on its face and that the officer had violated his rights by arresting him for a “single curse word to a trained police officer.”

Harrison argued that an officer should have known that he could not be arrested under a clearly unconstitutional law. He contended that the officers had no probable cause to arrest him because the law was invalid.

But the 4th Circuit reasoned in its April 29 opinion in Harrison v. Deane that the officer had the right to arrest Harrison under the ordinance unless it was clear that the law was “grossly and flagrantly unconstitutional.”

“Although Harrison makes a compelling argument that Virginia Code § 18.2-388 is unconstitutional, he fails to show that it is so grossly and flagrantly unconstitutional that Mora should have anticipated its invalidation,” the appeals court wrote. “Mora therefore had probable cause to believe that Harrison violated a presumptively valid state law.”

David L. Hudson Jr. is a scholar at the First Amendment Center. Hudson writes for firstamendmentcenter.org and for other publications devoted to First Amendment issues. He is the author or co-author of more than 30 books, including several on the U.S. Supreme Court, the Constitution and student rights.



This makes no sense whatsoever.
 

zengirl

If I had a dollar might give ya 99
Oct 15, 2004
10,255
20
41
I guess cursing someone out can be seen as a verbal assault.
 

my little brony

Keep Being A Little Bitch
Oct 15, 2004
34,952
18,763
823
The 1st amendment doesn't give you the right to say or do whatever you want whenever you want.

but pretty damn close. and it does protect the right to use whatever language you wish and whoever you want for whatever reason. any reason to restrict speech has to be very compelling


I'm chill, just confused as to why people who supposedly worship the constitution would do this..

who? the entire state of virginia does not hold the same political beliefs
 

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
35,330
9,395
473
40
Oz
There are always public decency laws and there have been for years and years. If you are making a scene or causing doing something that falls into verbal assault then you should be held accountable.

Spoken word shouldn't ever get someone arrested. Physically doing something is much different.
 

Floptical

Doesnt Read Thread Titles
Sep 1, 2006
23,575
14,691
473
Rockies
but pretty damn close. and it does protect the right to use whatever language you wish and whoever you want for whatever reason. any reason to restrict speech has to be very compelling

This all falls into line with every public intoxication, people wearing sagging pants, etc. law that is out there. It's not about censorship it's about public decency.
 

my little brony

Keep Being A Little Bitch
Oct 15, 2004
34,952
18,763
823
This all falls into line with every public intoxication, people wearing sagging pants, etc. law that is out there. It's not about censorship it's about public decency.

neither of those examples are forms of speech though laws against sagging pants is pretty fucking stupid in the first place. and it's not about public decency either; government has no business deciding what is or isn't decent. laws against public intoxication are not about decency they're about safety


There are always public decency laws and there have been for years and years. If you are making a scene or causing doing something that falls into verbal assault then you should be held accountable.

"verbal assault" is a pussy term. you can't connect me calling you mean names to me threatening to kill you.
 
Last edited:

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
35,330
9,395
473
40
Oz
but pretty damn close. and it does protect the right to use whatever language you wish and whoever you want for whatever reason. any reason to restrict speech has to be very compelling




who? the entire state of virginia does not hold the same political beliefs

The Virginia government is trying to use the constitution to overturn Obamacare. Yet now they are contradicting the constitution. Doesn't make sense to me.
 

my little brony

Keep Being A Little Bitch
Oct 15, 2004
34,952
18,763
823
The Virginia government is trying to use the constitution to overturn Obamacare. Yet now they are contradicting the constitution. Doesn't make sense to me.

again, the entire state of viriginia does not share those beliefs, nor does the entire government of virginia. this is one county, not the entire government of the state. there's no rational connection between the people in this case and the people trying to overturn the health care bill

edit: which shouldn't be called obamacare in the first place, jesus fuck
 
Last edited:

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
35,330
9,395
473
40
Oz
again, the entire state of viriginia does not share those beliefs, nor does the entire government of virginia. this is one county, not the entire government of the state

I believe it's a state law, no?
 

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
35,330
9,395
473
40
Oz
jesus fucking christ. it being a state law does not mean that everyone involved fucking agrees with it. holy goddamn shit.

more importantly, it's been a state law since at least the 1960s


chillax dude.

The government in power is the representation of the people. They put them there.
The laws are representations of the desires of the people. They put them there.

If the people disagree with either of those they will replace them.
 

my little brony

Keep Being A Little Bitch
Oct 15, 2004
34,952
18,763
823
yes and because of that I'm saying stop blanketing everyone in that state or that government with a single statement about the constitution. the people involved in this are not inherently one in the same with the people trying to overturn the health care law

again, not all of the people necessarily agree with this. the law was put in place in the 1960s, an entirely different group of people than the ones arguing about health care today. also, it's two different facets of the state and local government and it's not a simple matter to remove a law. this is how the process works, a law can't simply be removed on a whim
 
Last edited: