“Fuck the Court”: A Brief Lesson on American Civil Liberties for Those Who’ve Been Given Every Reason to Believe They’re a Mirage

Posted on July 18, 2018


“I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. […] I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.”


I thought about using, “F*ck the Court,” in the title to this post to spare the sensibilities of the prudish. But that would have defeated the point.

“Fuck the court” is a sentiment untold multitudes feel. You’ll nevertheless find few returns for the phrase on Google—and no wonder: Citizens who have experience with the court know it’s pretty good at fucking with them.

So, “can” you say, “Fuck the court”? Sure. The freedom to express any opinion or conviction you have, especially a political one, is guaranteed by the First Amendment, no matter how objectionable that opinion or conviction may be to others, including representatives of our public institutions (whose kids’ college tuitions we subsidize). As long as you’re not exciting violence—namely by advocating or threatening it—you enjoy the freedom to say your piece. Expressions of disgust are not only constitutionally protected; they’re more than warranted in this case.

(Consider that anarchists advocate for the complete abolishment of government. Are they “allowed” to do that? Of course.)

Context alone matters. What you say to the world at large, in a blog like this one, for example, is protected speech. If someone doesn’t want to hear it, s/he doesn’t have to listen.

Important distinctions: If you, as a party to a proceeding, wore a t-shirt emblazoned with “Fuck the Court!” to court, the judge might (would) order you turn it inside out. Or if you were just a looker-on, the bailiff could (would) ask you to leave and only come back when/if you were “respectfully” attired. If you pronounced, “Fuck the court!” aloud in court, you could be held in contempt for causing a disruption.

Got it? Good. And fuck the court. You have every right to register your disapproval.

Copyright © 2018 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com

*If you’re wondering whether this means you can criticize the conduct of judges and attorneys (by name), the conduct of plaintiffs (by name), and how a case or cases you’ve been involved in were conducted, the answer is YES. Just qualify your opinions as such, restrict their expression to the world at large, that is, never direct them to the object of your scorn, and represent facts accurately.