Listen Live on  
 

KTRH

Houston's News, Weather & Traffic Station
 
 

Swearing Laws may be Unconstitutional

 
Swearing Laws may be Unconstitutional
Posted Wednesday, May 21st 2014 @ 5am  by By KTRH's Scott Crowder

Recently, a Michigan kid made national headlines by receiving a $200 fine for swearing in public. But if you think that's too much, a similar Houston ordinance calls for up to a $500 fine for cussing in public!

 says those fined rarely fight it.

"And the reason is because they're usually embarrassed and they don't have a lawyer who's willing to fight it or they're not willing to fight it."

But Professor Treece says the U.S. Supreme Court is clear.

"If you get a lawyer or the ACLU involved these ordinances are, as a rule, unconstitutional."

Professor Treece says the laws aren't usually enforced and they seem to be designed to protect police officers. 

"The Court says the same thing; these are not polite words; they're not nice words; they're unsanitary words. But such words are protected by the 1st Amendment."

In the '90s a Michigan man was convicted of swearing in front of a woman and her child. But the conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Recommended Stories

*