Rosenfeld v. New Jersey

408 U.S. 901 (1972)

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Rosenfeld v. New Jersey

United States Supreme Court

408 U.S. 901 (1972)

Facts

A New Jersey statute prohibited the use of profane or indecent language in public places. The New Jersey Supreme Court had interpreted the statute to be limited to words that were likely to incite an immediate breach of the peace or were likely to offend the listeners, considering the setting of the speech and the age and gender of the listeners. David Rosenfeld (defendant) addressed a public-school board meeting of 150 people, including 40 children and 25 women. Rosenfeld used the adjective “m_____f______” four times to describe the teachers, school board, town, and the United States. Rosenfeld was convicted as a disorderly person under the statute and appealed to the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, which upheld the conviction. Rosenfeld petitioned the United States Supreme Court, which summarily decided the matter without oral argument or full briefing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

Dissent (Powell, J.)

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