If you happen to be traveling through Middleborough, Massachusetts and you want to avoid a fine you might want to avoid uttering some choice four letter words. Officials in Middleborough recently passed a city ordinance that slaps a $20 fine on anyone caught swearing in public.
The swearing fine was passed with a 183-50 vote and is intended to target loud and obscene people who swear loudly in public. Don’t worry you can still swear loudly if you’re not in public, although we still suggest a swearing jar for savings purposes.
Before everyone starts screaming about the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has previously ruled that government officials can’t bar profanity from public speech, however state law allows towns to enforce local laws and even arrest anyone who “addresses another person with profane or obscene language” in a public place.
The swearing law is not the only ordinance that was voted on, there is now a $50 littering fine that also includes shoveling snow into the street and there is a $300 fine if you get caught smoking marijuana in public.
At a time when property values are falling along with property taxes and other collected money for city municipalities it looks like certain towns will do whatever it takes to earn extra money and that is just f**king ridiculous.
Where do you stand on the swearing issue? Should it be banned in public or should the first amendment allow people to say whatever the heck they want at any given time if it does not incite a riot?