Summary of Cohen v. California
To protest the Vietnam war, P wore a jacket into a courthouse with the words “Fuck the draft" on it. He did not threaten anyone nor was anyone who saw the jacket violently aroused. P was charged with disturbing the peace.
Are the words “fuck the draft" protected speech?
Yes, the words are protected.
- you cant say that you’re just trying to preserve a decorous courtroom because no where in the statute does it say that you can say certain things in one location and not in another
- The words can’t be banned as obscene, because they are in no way erotic.
- The fact that certain words are offensive doesn’t make them fighting words—to be fighting words they must be directed at a person.