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Q: Anti G.W. Bush baseball cap, legal, illegal? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Anti G.W. Bush baseball cap, legal, illegal?
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: lkf-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 10 Sep 2005 18:17 PDT
Expires: 10 Oct 2005 18:17 PDT
Question ID: 566613
I wear a baseball cap that says  F*CK G.W.BUSH (without the *  While
most people I meet either smile or comment that they like the hat, a
Vermont state trooper told me that if I don't remove the hat I am
subject to arrest.
Is there a law in Vermont that states the hat is illegal? and if so
what happened to freedom of the press and free speech?
Answer  
Subject: Re: Anti G.W. Bush baseball cap, legal, illegal?
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 10 Sep 2005 21:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
 
Hi lkf,

As stated at the bottom of this page, answers and comments provided on
Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to
substitute for informed professional legal advice.

Perhaps the state trooper was thinking of "disorderly conduct" ("...
In a public place uses abusive or obscene language") or, perhaps more
creatively, "promotion of anarchy" ("advocate ... or incite unlawful
assault upon, or the killing of a public official").

"13 V.S.A.  1026. Disorderly conduct"
The Vermont Legislature: Vermont Statutes Online
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=13&Chapter=075&Section=03405

"13 V.S.A.  3405. Promotion of anarchy"
The Vermont Legislature: Vermont Statutes Online
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=13&Chapter=075&Section=03405

You can check online versions of the statutes, including Title 13
(Crimes and Criminal Procedure), to investigate whether any other
provisions might apply.

LexisNexis: Vermont Statutes and Court Rules
http://198.187.128.12/vermont/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=fs-main.htm&2.0

The Vermont Legislature: Vermont Statutes Online
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/statutes2.htm

Supposing that there is an applicable statute, you might look to the
US Supreme Court's 1971 decision in Cohen v. California that the
wearing of a jacket with the words "F--- the Draft" is protected by
the First Amendment.

"Cohen v. California"
FindLaw
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=403&page=15

"F--- G.W. Bush" seems a little different from "F--- the Draft," but
the principles could be the same.  See:

"Sticker stuck in cop's craw," by Brian D. Crecente (January 25, 2005)
Rocky Mountain News
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_3495709,00.html

You might contact an attorney (or the local chapter of the ACLU) to
ask about this issue.

- justaskscott


Search strategy --

Browsed online Vermont statutes, and searched LexisNexis version for:

obscene
obscenity

Searched on Google for:

"f--- the draft" "supreme court"
"cohen v california"
"cohen v california" "f--- bush"
lkf-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
fantastic service, answered the question plus...5 stars and a tip of
the cap  the cap will stay on.

Comments  
Subject: Re: Anti G.W. Bush baseball cap, legal, illegal?
From: nelson-ga on 11 Sep 2005 02:33 PDT
 
You should have told him to do so.  You would be much admired by all. 
You'd be a celebrity.  You'd get the nice cell.  (Just kidding on that
last one.)
Subject: Re: Anti G.W. Bush baseball cap, legal, illegal?
From: myoarin-ga on 11 Sep 2005 08:16 PDT
 
Good luck, but you could still be in for a hassle.  Perhaps, if you
were a female, you could explain that the statement was an offer and
not an attempt to
"advocate ... or incite unlawful assault upon, or the killing of a
public official".  But then you  - female -  might get run in for
soliciting ...  ;)
Subject: Re: Anti G.W. Bush baseball cap, legal, illegal?
From: professorman-ga on 11 Sep 2005 17:50 PDT
 
To add to myoarin's comment, you would be commiting a lewd and
lascivious act as per Vermont State Statute Title 13: Crimes and
Criminal Procedure
Chapter 59: LEWDNESS AND PROSTITUTION
13 V.S.A.  2601. Lewd and lascivious conduct.
The bright side is that your fine and/or jail time could be less for
that offense than it would be for inciting a riot.

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