Arizona has long been a rich source of batshit insane laws, usually good for a laugh or a moment of outrage (sometimes both) before they’re quickly struck down by a judge for their utter lack of constitutional sanction. The state’s anti-immigration bill, SB 1070, which contained provisions only a veteran of the Stasi could appreciate, is a prime example of the steaming piles of absurdity which lawmakers in Phoenix grunt out on a regular basis.
Now they’ve pretended the First Amendment has ceased to exist, and added bad words and the occasional boob shot to the list of things people just shouldn’t do if they want to remain employed by Arizona’s public education system:
In what has to be the most hilariously unconstitutional piece of legislation that I’ve seen in quite some time, senators in the Arizona state legislature have introduced a bill that would require all educational institutions in the state — including state universities — to suspend or fire professors who say or do things that aren’t allowed on network TV.
Since the FCC’s own rules on obscenity are sufficiently vague to warrant a current Supreme Court review of its authority to regulate speech on broadcast television, one has to wonder what the bill’s sponsors – unsurprisingly, all Republicans – fear teachers and professors are doing in the state’s classrooms to threaten impressionable youth. Because what sixth-grader hears on television off-color remarks that aren’t repeated on playgrounds every day? When 12-year-olds are quite adept at finding video content online, all of which is completely unregulated by the FCC, the time for worrying about what teachers might show in class is long past.
Reason‘s Jacob Sullum has more on the FCC’s incomprehensible obscenity rules.
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