Friday, August 24, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Swears Off Obscene and Profane Language Ban

All's well that ends well, we guess

Good news for fanciers of the First Amendment (and common sense), as the Standard-Examiner reports this morning that Ogden City Public Services Director Jay Lowder's proposal to outlaw obscene and profane language at city parks and recreation events has been unceremoniously  deep-sixed:
Here's the money quote:
[Chief Administrative Officer Mark] Johnson said that while various legal experts have told the city the ordinance was, in fact, constitutional, the decision was made to drop it and look for other ways to curb poor sportsmanship.

“We were concerned with how the ordinance was being interpreted in the public and the reaction we got from that,” he said.

“We decided it would just be easier and create less headache for the city council if we dropped it and went about things another way.”
The passage of this vague and free speech unfriendly ordinance would inevitably invite strong legal challenges which the beleaguered Ogden City taxpayers could not well afford to defend, especially by means of bizarre legal theories cooked up by Ogden's so-called "legal experts."
All's well that ends well, we guess.

Update 8/25/12 8:12 a.m.:  The Salt Lake Tribune's all over the story too:


Smaatguy said...

Glad they came to thier senses and avoided the cost of a lawsuit...

Dan S. said...

Johnson is obviously blowing smoke about these alleged legal experts. If he had a genuine legal authority who thought the ordinance would be constitutional, he would name that authority and allow the reporter to interview the authority directly.

Smaatguy said... mean like a developer waiting in the wings but we can't name or ever?

Dan S. said...

It's even worse than that. A real developer could easily have legitimate reasons for wanting to remain anonymous. The only reason for a real legal expert to remain anonymous might be if she didn't want to jeopardize her representation of some other client in another case. That's highly unlikely here, and it would never happen, say, for the city attorney or someone in academia.

Ndoseo said...

Thankfully after everyone caused an uproar this dis not stick I am a strong believer in our countries freedom of speech and all of our rights as US citizens 
Reason Law Offices, PLLC942 Chambers St South Ogden, UT 84403(801) 903-2721

Dan S. said...

Here's the Trib's write-up:

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