Story here. It notes:
We spoke to Debra Gammons with the Charleston School of Law about freedom of speech.
She reminds that the First Amendment is not absolute. You cannot say whatever you want whenever you want to.
Courts will usually look at where the words were said and who heard them. Children are usually protected.
Not an entirely accurate overview of contemporary First Amendment jurisprudence, to put it mildly. I’m tempted to make some snarky remark about the quality of the law faculty at our in-state competitor, but I’ve been misquoted so many times, I will assume that is what happened here.
The text of the bill Ford introduced is accessible here. It says in part:
“Section 16-15-370. (A) It is unlawful for a person in a public forum or place of public accommodation wilfully and knowingly to publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.
(B) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
Maybe I have a Con Law treatise lying around someplace that I can send to Senator Ford. And I’ll try hard not to use the eff word in the gift card I enclose.
ETA: Eugene Volokh has a pretty good take on this bill, I have to admit.