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Plummer v. City of Columbus, 414 U.S. 2 (1973)

Plummer v. City of Columbus

No. 72-6897

Decided October 15, 1973

414 U.S. 2


The Ohio Supreme Court erred in finding no constitutional infirmity in the lower Court's holding that a city ordinance punishing abuse of another by using menacing, insulting, slanderous, or profane language might constitutionally reach appellant's use of "fighting words" where the ordinance, as construed by the Ohio courts, is facially unconstitutional because it may be applied to punish not only unprotected, but also protected, speech. Even though a law may be valid as applied to the conduct charged against a particular defendant, he may raise its vagueness or unconstitutional overbreadth as applied to others, and, if the law is found deficient in one of these respects, it may not be applied to him either, absent a satisfactory limiting construction.


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