Legal protection to the middle finger

I am a dinosaur.  I still read the print edition of the NY Times.  Of course, it helps that the academic M-F rate for the print edition–delivered to my door daily at 3 am–is less than the monthly cost of the digital firewall (print subscribers get behind the firewall).

The real reason I like the print edition, though, is that I read more of the paper, including delicious stories like this one:

Obscene Gesture Produces Years of Legal Battling

The money quote from the judge:

The 14-page opinion, written by Judge Jon O. Newman for a three-judge panel, expressed skepticism at the officer’s explanation of why he had followed the car.

“Perhaps there is a police officer somewhere who would interpret an automobile passenger’s giving him the finger as a signal of distress,” Judge Newman wrote.

“But the nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness,” he added.

There is even a book on the subject!

Ira P. Robbins, a professor of criminal law at American University who has studied the history of the gesture and is the author of the article “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law.”

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One Response to Legal protection to the middle finger

  1. raef says:

    There is even a book on the subject!

    any full pdf ?

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