City Challenges Judge's Ruling on "Fighting Words"

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The city of Boulder is appealing a judge's decision to strike down an ordinance that banned the use of language that can provoke a disorderly response.

The City Attorney's Office argues a retired county court judge who was sitting in for a municipal judge "erroneously construed the law" when he determined last month it violated the First Amendment. City spokesman Patrick von Keyserling declined to comment.

The so-called "fighting words" law bars people from insulting, taunting or challenging another person if it would likely provoke a disorderly response. Attorney Kevin Cheney argued the law was unconstitutional because it did not require that a person intend to cause the response.

He tells the Daily Camera he's confident the ruling will be upheld.

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