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Constitutional Law Keyed to Maggs
Cohen v. California
Citation:403 U.S. 15 (1971)
Appellant Paul Robert Cohen was convicted in the Los Angeles Municipal Court of violating that part of California Penal Code which prohibits “maliciously and willfully disturbing the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person by offensive conduct.” He was given 30 days’ imprisonment. Cohen was observed wearing a jacket bearing the words “Fuck the Draft” which were plainly visible. He testified that he wore the jacket knowing that the words were on the jacket as a means of informing the public of the depth of his feelings against the Vietnam War and the draft. He did not engage in nor did anyone as the result of his conduct commit or threaten to commit any act of violence. Appellant did not make any loud or unusual noise nor was there any evidence that he uttered any sound prior to his arrest.
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