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View Diary: Westboro Chickens Out Again (83 comments)

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  •  "ran his mouth" is vernacular... (5+ / 0-)

    ....it's considered the polite way of saying that the person in question did quite a bit more than "say something that offended someone".

    Perhaps you've never heard the term "fighting words". The term actually has a few legal implications.

    F'r instance, from the simple wiki link...

    The fighting words doctrine, in United States constitutional law, is a limitation to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    In 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine by a 9-0 decision in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. It held that "insulting or 'fighting words,' those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" are among the "well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech the prevention and punishment of [which] ... have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem."

    Cheers.
    •  I am familiar with the term "fighting words" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      I know it's an established precedent, but it seems to me little more than a loophole to allow holders of popular views to assault holders of unpopular views with impunity.

      •  kinda one dimensional take ya got there... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crashing Vor, CA wildwoman

        ...well, happy holidays and Cheers.

        •  My problem with it is... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I don't trust the cops, or the courts, for that matter, to decide what verbal expression justifies a beat-down.  I think it's way too subjective.  Personally, I can't imagine anything someone could say that would inspire me to assault them.  But there are people out there who would respond violently to things said on this blog every day.  Who gets to decide?

          •  imposing the limits of your own imagination... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CA wildwoman

            ...onto others, well, that may not be the most fruitful of endeavors.

            Cheers.

            •  I was merely pointing out... (0+ / 0-)

              ...that the "fighting words" standard is subjective.  If some judge decides that a right-wing hyper-patriotic veteran cannot be held responsible if he loses his temper and beats some guy to a pulp for burning a flag at a public demonstration, are you okay with that?  Because there are people out there who become just as enraged about flag burning as people do about WBC's funeral protests.

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