Perry County neighbors upset by F*** Biden signs

November 12 – A person in Perry County, Pa., is trying to fight having F*** Biden signs displayed in his neighborhood.

He reached out to the township, but was told there was very little that could be done about it.

A few months ago, this same case happened in New Jersey where a woman had all kinds of vulgar signs all over her house. The property was very close to a school, where children could see the signs every day. The town cited her for violating an ordinance involving vulgarity or decency.

She took them to court.

The court said it was free speech.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed the First Amendment this morning during the Big Talk on First News.

Barkdoll said, “And the court I think correctly ruled that as offensive as those words are and as much as you hate to see them walking back and forth to school, it is protected free speech. And the distinction in these cases are as long as the speech is directed towards a public official, as vulgar as it might be, courts have consistently said it’s protected. On the other hand, if the signs were saying vulgar terms about a private citizen, one of their neighbors, they could be cited for that. So in Perry County, as upset as the neighbors may be, it’s going to be protected speech and those banners and flags will be allowed to stay up.”

Ryan asked, “What happens if your neighbor is Joe Biden?”

Barkdoll laughed, “Well, it’s interesting. That New Jersey case which really laid this out in great detail, they get into the distinction about not only what if it’s a current public official, but what if it’s a past or prior public official and the free speech protection seems to equally apply. They look at this as a criticizing language towards a public official. It is protected. In that New Jersey case, I understand why parents may have not liked that. Aside from the fact they may not like Joe Biden, they don’t want those signs as the kids are walking in and out of school every day. I think Perry County it’s more just neighbors complaining they don’t like the language being seen as they drive in and out of their house every day, but hate speech, vulgar speech is protected speech for the most part in the US. So those neighbors that are complaining in Perry County likely have a losing case here.”