The Curse of the First Amendment

When Elizabeth Venable used profanity near small children at a Southern California airport, authorities charged her under a law banning "disorderly, obnoxious, or indecent acts." She sued and prosecutors wound up dropping the charges. But Venable says she will pursue her suit in a bid to make a statement about free speech.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Elizabeth Venable says the Constitution protects her right to curse. She was in a Southern California airport when she used profanity near small children. Authorities charged her under a law banning disorderly, obnoxious or indecent acts. So she sued saying she had a right to free speech. Now prosecutors have dropped the charges, saying it's in the interest of justice. But to overturn the law, she's going ahead with the lawsuit. Gosh darn.

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