From the Sunday NY Times “Week in Review Page Two”
Really Free Speech
Is it legal to give someone the finger? Yes, says the Texas court of Appeals, Third District, which ruled for a man who had appealed his conviction for making the gesture to a couple in a car. The court majority, in its opinion, decided that flipping “the bird” did not rise to the level of “disorderly conduct” unless it can be shown “to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”
“That the gesture may be thrust upon unsuspecting or sensitive viewers falls short of the type of conduct in a public place that would incite those present to violence,” Judge Jan P. Patterson wrote for the majority.