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Free Speech Triumphs in New Orleans

Posted: Jan. 3rd, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse
Flippin' the festive bird
CBS 12

As a New Orleans woman demonstrated with elaborate holiday decorations depicting a middle finger visible for all passers-by, it's not the speech society enjoys that needs protecting. In a relieving turn of events, however, a judge has ensured the triumph of the First Amendment by allowing the offensive, but protected, holiday display to continue.

A Louisiana woman ran afoul of police when she gave her neighbors an unusual holiday greeting, hanging Christmas lights in the shape of a middle finger.

 

Sarah Childs was in a dispute with some of her neighbors in Denham Springs, just east of Baton Rouge, so she decided to send a message with her decorations. Neighbors complained and police threatened to arrest her, so she and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sued the city.

 

A judge ruled in her favor Thursday.

 

"I imagine it will be back up before too long," ACLU of Louisiana executive director Marjorie Esman said of the display.

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