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Well I say “god damn!”

profanity.jpgBack in 2002, Thomas Leonard and his wife were involved in a lawsuit with Montrose Township over allegations that the township was cheating them out of money owed under a towing contract. Leonard went to a public meeting held by the township and he got up and reiterated his cheating accusations, punctuating them by stating “that’s why you’re in a goddamn lawsuit.” A board member was a bit tweaked by this nasty use of the lord’s name, and Leonard ended up getting himself arrested. Leonard was charged with disorderly conduct and the use of obscene language, and although the charges were dropped a month later, he sued the township for $25,000, for violating his Constitutional rights.

In 2005, the District Court threw his case out, finding that the cop had probable cause to make the arrest, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has now said the District Court was wrong and that the arrest did violate Leonard’s right to free speech. Leonard’s attorney had argued that: “All our client did was get up at a public meeting and express himself vigorously, and he was arrested for it.” The Sixth Circuit agreed:

It cannot be seriously contended that any reasonable peace officer, or citizen, for that matter, would believe that mild profanity while peacefully advocating a political position could constitute a criminal act.

This ruling is a boon for someone like me, who has an absolutely terrible trucker’s mouth. I’m pleased as a pig in shit to know that “mild profanity” can be used while advocating my position. Now, if we can just get that bumped up from “mild profanity” to “all profanity,” I’ll be fucking home free.