Wednesday, October 22, 2003


(Austin, TX) The Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals has ruled that it is perfectly legal to display the middle finger as an offensive gesture of contempt. The court reversed a lower court ruling where Robert Lee Coggin was convicted
. . . under an obscure state law that says "a person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace."
Coggin was convicted and fined for 'flipping the bird' at John Pastrano to express displeasure with Pastrano's driving skills.

Coggin appealed based upon his right to free speech but the court ruling stated that there was insufficient evidence to prove that his action would "incite an immediate breach of the peace."

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