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Can you believe this?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Michigan Court Overturns Anti-Swearing Law
Tuesday, April 2, 2002


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A state appeals court Monday struck down Michigan's 105-year-old law against using vulgar language in front of women and children, throwing out the conviction of a canoeist who let loose a stream of curses after falling into the water.
The three-judge panel unanimously overturned the 1999 conviction of Timothy Joseph Boomer. A jury had found him guilty of violating the law by swearing repeatedly after tumbling into the Rifle River.
He was fined $75 and ordered to work four days in a child-care program, but the sentence was put on hold while the case was under appeal.
Enacted in 1897 and slightly reworded in 1931, the law says that anyone using "indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."
The appeals court declared the law unconstitutional, saying it would be "difficult to conceive of a statute that would be more vague."
"Allowing a prosecution where one utters 'insulting' language could possibly subject a vast percentage of the populace to a misdemeanor conviction," the court said.
post #2 of 8
That is one of the most rediculous things I've read!! I bet anyone else would have sworn just as they were about to flip over in a canoe. They'll make stupid laws about profanity but when it comes to laws regarding animal cruelty they can't seem to get their act together.
post #3 of 8
That's just crazy!
post #4 of 8
I can't believe that they even had a law like that!...I mean, who doesn't swear at one point or another and I think that anyone in his situation would have sworn too.
post #5 of 8
It's really amazing what seemingly absurd laws are still on the books. Most never actually get to the prosecution level, but there were reasons for them when they were written. There's actually been books written about some of the stupid laws that are officially still laws. Most sex acts are illegal in many states in the south. One person told me about an old law, I forgot where exactly, where it is illegal to buy dog food on Sunday. That one is still enforced.

I know some from the town that I grew up in - Ft. Collins, Colorado. It is illegal to walk down the main street with a large, black steel lunchbox. (I guess there was one group of workers that would carry bombs in those old lunchboxes during Union disputes.) It is illegal to walk a pet duck on a leash. (No idea on that one!) It is illegal to spit on the sidewalk - on the street is fine, but not on the sidewalk. (I wish they would enforce that one!)
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I kind of wandered what happens to the women that swear. If they swear in front of other women. I can just see a man falling, swearing, then the police are there. instead of, "Are you all right, sir?" its "You are under arrest."

I saw on Montel Williams a show about dumb things that are illegal. maybe I will write to Montel and ask him about that show.
post #7 of 8
Well, here in Washington, all lollipops are illegal. Just thought you should know, in case anyone has a trip planned!
post #8 of 8
Lollipops are illegal???? What on earth for???? Weird.
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