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Home Daily News Flipping the bird is protected by First Amendment,

Constitutional Law

A federal appeals court has refused to toss a lawsuit against a Michigan police officer accused of upgrading a traffic ticket to a more serious violation because a driver raised her middle finger at him.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati ruled Wednesday that the officer was not protected by qualified immunity because the alleged constitutional violation clearly infringed on established rights. The Washington Post has coverage, while How Appealing notes the opinion.

The Taylor, Michigan, officer, Matthew Minard, pulled over Debra Cruise-Gulyas for speeding in June 2017 but gave her a ticket for a lesser violation. She flipped him the bird as she drove off. Minard pulled her over a second time and amended the ticket to the more serious speeding offense, according to the allegations.

Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the golden rule, Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote in the panel opinion. But that doesn t make them illegal or for that matter punishable or for that matter grounds for a seizure. ...