By Eric Levenson, CNN
( CNN)– They state everything’s larger in Texas, which obviously consists of truck decals.
A Texas sheriff on Wednesday recommended criminal charges are possible for the owner of a white truck that bears a profane message for President Donald Trump and his supporters, stimulating a dispute about the line between profane words and flexibility of speech.
” F *** TRUMP AND F *** YOU FOR ELECTING HIM” reads the decal in strong white letters. A hand with a middle finger extended sits in the middle of the decal.
In a post on Facebook, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls said he had gotten various calls about the upseting sticker. The truck is often seen along FM 359, a state highway near Richmond, Nehls wrote.
He requested pointers on the identity of the truck’s owner and stated he would “want to discuss it” with the owner.
” Our Prosecutor has notified us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we might come to an arrangement relating to a modification to it,” Nehls composed.
The Facebook post was no longer noticeable Thursday morning after it was gotten rid of or the privacy settings altered.
In the remarks, Nehls also had posted the legal definition of disorderly conduct in Texas.
A disorderly conduct charge targets an individual who purposefully ” uses violent indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public location” or “makes an offending gesture or display screen in a public location” that “has the tendency to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”
‘ I’m not breaching any laws or rules’
Karen Cook Fonseca, who owns the truck with her other half, told CNN she put the decal up about 11 months ago. She stated there was “no particular factor” they chose to stick the message on the back of the truck.
“We desired our statement out there. That’s our opinion on him,” she said.
The decal has gone viral several times, she said, and she gets plenty of feedback on the roadway. She receives some unfavorable reactions, especially among older white men, but the majority of people stop to laugh, tell her stories or ask where to purchase it, Fonseca stated.
“A lot of females state I wish I had the balls to do that,” she stated.
Fonseca, who has children, stated she’s heard the criticism from some parents. But she said that having children doesn’t make you lose your liberty of speech.
“I’m not going to eliminate it because I understand I’m not breaching any laws or guidelines,” she said.
The sheriff’s Facebook post stimulated an extreme conversation amongst commenters, with a number of them recommending the First Modification protected the phrase.
“You have an issue with political speech? Great. Resign, and spend your days trying to modify the Constitution. In the meantime, the first modification is clear, and you remain in the wrong,” Jason Weinman wrote.
Another commenter, Linzi Bee, composed, “I’ve seen this truck, and I would (be) happy if the owner of this vehicle was prosecuted for disorderly conduct. My children saw this, and I was irritated they underwent this offending display.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas asked the truck owner to call the organization and provided the sheriff a complimentary legal tip.
“Constitutional Law 101: You cannot ban speech just because it has “[email protected]” in it,” the group composed.
Profanity is often, however not constantly, secured under the First Amendment’s right to totally free speech.
In 1942, the US Supreme Court ruled in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire that particular “fighting words,” which would tend to incite violence, are not protected under the First Change.
Nevertheless, in the 1971 case of Cohen v. California, the high court overturned the conviction of a male who wore a jacket in a courtroom with the words “F *** the draft.” The 5-4 ruling discovered those words would not right away incite violence and needs to be thought about secured political speech.
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