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And Now, An Important West KeyNote:
[2] Key Symbol 399 Vagrancy
Key Symbol 399k1 k. Nature and Elements of Offenses.

It is not a crime to be a "hippie".
Source: The West KeyNotes associated with Hughes v. Rizzo, 282 F.Supp. 881, 884 (E.D. Pa. 1968) (Fullam, J.) ("It is not a crime to be a 'hippie', and the police could not lawfully arrest on the basis of suspicion, or even probable cause to believe, that the arrestee occupied the status of being a homosexual or narcotics addict.").
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
It's the quotation marks that make it sing.
2.6.2008 12:30am
Dave N (mail):
"Hippie" = "homosexual" or "narcotics adict." Who knew?
2.6.2008 12:53am
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
...but it should be.
2.6.2008 1:08am
fishbane (mail):
...but it should be.

Hey, if bad taste is a crime, you're going to lock up my parents. They're productive (well, one is, anyway), and thinking, still, that fondue is 'racy' or that the beat poets were anything other than bad are personal choices.
2.6.2008 2:50am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
And your proof that this is the majority rule, followed in most states, is where?
2.6.2008 5:15am
b.:
what's the difference between Libertarians and hippies? and what animates the former's disdain for the latter?

soap?
2.6.2008 6:42am
JohnO (mail):
And to think, dog fighting is illegal and yet it's no crime to be a "hippie."
2.6.2008 8:19am
Waldensian (mail):
Skateboarding, however, SHOULD be a crime.
2.6.2008 9:57am
Hoosier:
Eric Cartman was right.
2.6.2008 10:00am
alias:
2.6.2008 10:09am
guest:
Is it fair to assume this is no longer good law?
2.6.2008 10:11am
Dave N (mail):
Is it fair to assume this is no longer good law?
Actually, given the fact that it came from an F.Supp. case, Hughes v. Rizzo was not "law" binding on anyone outside Judge Fullam's courtroom.

Which leads to two related questions I have always wondered about: 1) How are F.Supp. cases chosen for publication in the first place? and 2) Why should anyone really care what these decisions say?
2.6.2008 11:10am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Today I think the Society for Creative Anachronism are the only folks who have hippies. Tie-dye their shirts and smoke hand-rolled tobacco cigs. They practice the lingo -- respond to anything pleasing with "far out!" and to anything displeasing with "that's irrelevant."

Most are MBA majors...
2.6.2008 11:47am
hattio1:
If you don't think Hippies still exist come to Alaska....specifically Homer, Denali, Fox. However, I know there are other places as well.
2.6.2008 12:41pm
Virginian:

It is not a crime to be a "hippie".


Maybe not...but patchouli should definitely be banned!
2.6.2008 1:00pm
Visitor Again:
It is not a crime to be a "hippie".

But, as demonstrated by all the cases citing this rather empty principle, if you are a hippie the police will try very, very hard to pin something on you--like vagrancy, dissing the flag, pissing in public and other forms of indecent exposure, interfering with a peace officer, resisting arrest, assault or battery on a peace officer, disturbing the peace, panhandling, solicitation for sex, drinking alcohol in public, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in public, and, in general, anything the cops can lie about so that it's your word against theirs.
2.6.2008 1:32pm
Hoosier:
Visitor--You have me confused. Why would the police by "lyng" in such a case? Hippes ARE under the influence of drugs, in public and in private, right?

I mean, otherwise, what's the point?
2.6.2008 2:41pm
Constitutional Crisis (mail):

Which leads to two related questions I have always wondered about: 1) How are F.Supp. cases chosen for publication in the first place? and 2) Why should anyone really care what these decisions say?
District court opinions are generally selected for publication by the Judge, who determines whether or not to submit the decisions to the reporting services (there's probably some editorial check on it, too, I believe, but I'm not sure how that works).

Why should anyone care?

{didact}The common law is built upon the repeated application of legal principles to different sets of facts. An advocate commonly draws analogies from earlier precedents to a new case as a means of persuading that one interpretation of the law is correct.

While district court opinions are not the primary source for identifying the legal principles at stake--principles that can be found both in the constitution, enacted laws and in the binding precedents of appellate courts--those opinions do provide more or less persuasive examples of how precedents should be applied to different sets of facts to reach the correct legal conclusion. Because the district court cases are much more voluminous than appellate court opinions--and because they often deal with the facts of the cases with greater sophistication and depth--one can often tease out of a body of district court opinions a granularity to the proper application of law that is difficult to find within appellate court opinions.

One of the purposes of appellate court opinions is to give the district courts clarity as to what the law is and how it should be applied. It may surprise you, however, that not every appellate opinion is a model of clarity, thoroughness, or universality. Thus, by consulting district court opinions for their interpretations of appellate court opinions, one can gain a better understanding of their proper meaning.

The key here is to recognize that The Law doesn't really exist in any singular codified form; as such, the proper application of a legal principle can often be best substantiated by argument to similar (or dissimilar) cases that contain within them persuasive reasoning. Those cases with the most closely analogous fact-patterns are typically district court cases, if only because there are so many more of them.
{/didact}
2.6.2008 2:44pm
The Cabbage (mail):
That's just-like-your opinion, man.
2.6.2008 2:55pm
Randy R. (mail):
Thanks for posting this. Conservatives have been looking for years the exact moment that was the beginning of the fall of western civilization. They knew if was going to be in the 60s (so obvious), and here it is!

This decision opened the door for drug abuse, gay sex and long hair.
2.6.2008 3:01pm
Peter B. Nordberg (mail) (www):
I mean, otherwise, what's the point?

Free love, I thought.
2.6.2008 3:07pm
John M. Perkins (mail):
A keynote is a major speech at a convention.

Perhaps you meant headnote?
2.6.2008 4:57pm
Richard Gould-Saltman (mail):
Mr. Perkins is apparently unfamiliar with the West notation system, although I guess, (technically, and as West Publishing would have it) (possibly on pain of a cease and desist letter) Orin should have said "An Important West Key Note (tm):". It's not clear whether he's required to include the little key-shaped WingDing...
2.6.2008 5:27pm
Dave N (mail):
Constitutional Crisis:

I actually knew everything you stated. However, a U.S. District Court published decision (unlike a published decision from any other source) has zero precedential value. No court or judge is obliged to follow it--except as it constitutes the law of a particular case.

Indeed, as an authority on any given area of law, I would chose a learned treatise written by an expert over an F.Supp. opinion any day of the week.
2.6.2008 8:19pm
Visitor Again:
Visitor--You have me confused. Why would the police by "lyng" in such a case? Hippes ARE under the influence of drugs, in public and in private, right?

I mean, otherwise, what's the point?


Oh, free love, not a care in the world and the like. But the fact is that most of the hippies I knew were not high but engaged in a perpetual effort to raise the wherewithal to get high--without, of course, actually doing any paying work.
2.6.2008 8:46pm
Lev:
jeez...talk about nerdy geeky dorky
2.6.2008 11:06pm
Constitutional Crisis (mail):

However, a U.S. District Court published decision (unlike a published decision from any other source) has zero precedential value.

That's just not true. It may not be a binding precedent, but it is certainly a precedent; and to the extent that the facts are similar and the reasoning thorough, it is instructive as to how the law should be applied.

I would chose a learned treatise written by an expert over an F.Supp. opinion any day of the week.

You're generally not going to see various expositions of particular facts in a learned treatise. So it's not going to be much more helpful than the appellate decisions.

Let me give you an example: In the context of a hostile work environment claim, you have to convince the court, in responding to a motion to dismiss, that your plaintiff client's allegations are "sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment." If the allegations don't reach that standard, then you'll get thrown out without a chance to present evidence.

There's not much dispute about the black letter standard here; but the standard you find in appellate decisions and learned treatises only gets you so far. What's more persuasive to the district court is that you can show a pattern of how similar allegations have been treated in your district over a period of time. And that's what you're going to look to the F.Supps. for.

Also, you may find district court judges commenting on the appellate court decisions -- either noting infirmities or the problems that arise when applying their high falutin principles to facts on the ground. Citing those opinions can be persuasive in an appeal asking for a revision or clarification.
2.7.2008 10:47am