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View Diary: Flashing Headlights to Warn of Speed Traps Is Protected Speech (132 comments)

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  •  Even if we grant that it is "thwarting a law (3+ / 0-)
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    SoonerG, kurt, NoMoJoe

    enforcement measure," there can't possibly be anything illegal about "thwarting a law enforcement measure" by effectively telling another person not to break the law. That's true for drivers and for dope sellers. Saying to another person, "don't speed" or "don't sell dope" cannot be illegal. It also can't be considered aiding and abetting because, again, you're telling the person to not do the illegal thing, not helping them do it.

    "Thwarting a law enforcement measure" would be interfering with police directly. Like, I don't know, throwing yourself between the radar gun and the other guy's car so it can't get an accurate reading. Or distracting the state trooper by setting of fireworks or something. If all you're doing is telling someone else that there's a state trooper lying in wait with a radar gun somewhere up ahead, that's not "thwarting a law enforcement measure;" that's telling other drivers to slow down and obey the law.

    What "this particular speech" is "aimed at" is irrelevant; the First Amendment doesn't work that way. What matters is what the restriction of that speech is "aimed at," and whether that constitutes a compelling state interest to which the restriction is narrowly tailored. As the diary points out, even if highway safety is a compelling state interest, outlawing headlight-flashing speed-trap warnings is not narrowly tailored to that interest, because it can't be shown that it would make the roads any safer.

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