‘It is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Thursday that the state’s Senate would no longer tolerate witnesses who wear vulgar, anti-police attire, daring anyone who disagreed to sue him.
The Twitter comment came after a Senate witness sported a shirt with a middle finger that said, “F*** the police.”
Outraged to see this T-shirt at a Senate Hearing Thur. Future witnesses beware. No one will ever be allowed to wear such a vulgar shirt in a Senate hearing again-especially one that denigrates the brave men & women of law enforcement. Want to take me to court? Ok. Make my day. pic.twitter.com/lutXI1eJFo
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) February 28, 2020
Indignant Twitter user @AriCohn claimed Patrick was “declaring war on the First Amendment.”
Cohn cited a nihilistic Supreme Court precedent, which declares that the government cannot identify the difference between vulgarity and public disorder and art.
— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) February 28, 2020
“For, while the particular four-letter word being litigated here is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric,” John Marshall Harlan wrote in Cohen v. California, a 1971 opinion that blurred the once-obvious distinction between political speech and animalistic grunting.