Friday, May 21, 2010

Mother-in-Law Jokes Protected Speech

To the chagrin of many mother-in-laws, a federal judge in New Jersey has ruled that the First Amendment protects mother-in-law jokes:

From AP:

LOS ANGELES — A standup comedian who was sued for making mother-in-law jokes has had the last laugh after a federal judge threw the case out of court.

Sunda Croonquist, whose shtick for years has been to describe her life as a half-black, half-Swedish woman who marries into a Jewish family, was sued two years ago after her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law said her jokes were holding them up to public ridicule.

In a 21-page ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper of New Jersey concluded that the examples they cited — including one in which Croonquist says her sister-in-law's voice sounds like a cat in heat — fell under the category of protected speech.

Many of the jokes, Cooper said, were clearly statements of opinion and not fact and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The cat-in-heat joke, the judge said, quoting from a previous court decision, was "colorful, figurative rhetoric that reasonable minds would not take to be factual."

Read more here and the opinion here.

MR

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2010/05/motherinlaw-jokes-protected-speech.html

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef013480ebc4aa970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mother-in-Law Jokes Protected Speech:

Comments

Thats funny, I like that Mother-in-Law Jokes Protected Speech

Posted by: jokesfb | Oct 24, 2012 10:44:23 AM

Post a comment