Finally we have a law review article about a legal issue that might interest lay people. Ira P. Robbins, the Barnard T. Welsh Scholar and a Professor of Law and Justice, at the Washington College of Law of American University published an article in the University of California, Davis Law Review called “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law.” The 83 page article contains everything you wanted to know and more about the legalities of flipping the bird. I cannot wait until the movie comes out. The preamble to the article says:
“a number of recent cases demonstrate that those who use the middle finger in public run the risk of being stopped, arrested, prosecuted, fined, and even incarcerated under disorderly conduct or breach-of-peace statutes and ordinances. . . . the pursuit of criminal sanctions for use of the middle finger infringes on First Amendment rights, violates fundamental principles of criminal justice, wastes valuable judicial resources, and defies good sense.”
I learn something new everyday. I’ve been worried about the loss of freedom caused by the food police, the toy police, the noise police, the clown mask police, the elementary school sexual harassment police, the snowball police, the elementary school no-touching the opposite sex police, the elementary school doodling police, the light rail police, the elementary school science project police, the advertising police and just today the billboard police. I did not realize that our freedom is also being threatened by the middle finger police.