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Free Speech in Georgia: Alive but Unwell

After the Georgia Supreme Court’s disappointing First Amendment showing in Scott v. State, upholding the state's dirty-talk-to-minors statute (for the children!) despite the Free Speech Clause (the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals have both struck functionally identical statutes, and we have filed a cert petition in Scott citing this split in authority), I was somewhat cheered this morning to see that Georgia had in West v. State held unconstitutional section 20-2-1182 of the Georgia Code, which made it a crime for any person other than a student to “continue[] to upbraid, insult, or abuse any public school teacher, public school administrator, or public school bus driver in the presence and hearing of a pupil while on the premises of any public school or public school bus” and to fail to leave the premises after being told to do so by the offended party.

Here is the opinion.

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