FEDERAL COURT RULES FLIPPING THE BIRD NOW CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED
So have you ever flipped the bird? It’s fun. But it’s also totally meaningful. We all do it, some more than others. Some of us even do it to the TV when there is something disagreeable. It can even be a Pavlovian response! But sometimes, some people think this form of speech is not allowed. So whether you agree or not, we now have a solid idea of just how much the law allows us to flip the bird. But that’s because a federal appeals court has ruled that flipping the bird is absolutely constitutionally protected speech. And yes, this was a question till just recently.
WOMAN FLIPS COP THE BIRD AFTER TICKET, HE PULLS HER OVER AGAIN FOR ANOTHER TICKET
So how did this come about? Well, a woman in Michigan, Debra Cruise-Gulyas, committed some minor violation while she was driving. A Detroit cop pulled her over and gave her a ticket. But Debra was not at all pleased after the stop was over and the cop gave her a ticket. So Debra heard Pavlov’s bell and gave Detroit Officer Matthew Minard the middle finger. But Officer Minard really didn’t like that show of appreciation. So he pulled Debra over a second time and gave her yet another ticket. But this one was for a more serious speeding violation.
JUDGE SAYS COP SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, MIDDLE FINGERS NOW RULE
But Debra really didn’t like that. She thought it wasn’t fair. So she sued. But now that the federal appeals court has ruled in her favor, her lawsuit can proceed. To give you some sense how long this has taken, Minard gave her these tickets back in 2017! The court’s ruling included that Officer Minard, “should have known better” than to pull her over. Rudeness is not against the law! The court found that the Detroit cop violated her free-speech rights. But it also said the cop violated her rights against unreasonable seizure, as well.
So maybe flipping two birds would have been better.