Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Do dogs have right of free speech?

In what may be a case of canine versus the constitution, a lawyer in El Paso, Texas, is contending that a dog's barking is speech protected by the First Amendment.

According to a report Sunday in the El Paso Times, the novel notion is being raised in defense of a lawsuit brought by an El Paso man over his neighbor's dog's alleged nonstop barking. The neighbor denies the barking, but his lawyer says that, if the dog was barking, it has a constitutional right to do so.

The newspaper quotes the lawyer as promising to fight the issue to the Supreme Court, if necessary. "I can honestly state that if the dog did bark at all, the dog was simply exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech."

My two cents: He's barking up the wrong tree.

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