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10 Completely Archaic Laws Still on the Books


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Thou Shalt Not Curse (at New Orleans Firefighters)
Who would want to curse at New Orleans' finest? Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Who would want to curse at New Orleans' finest? Mark Wilson/Getty Images

New Orleans sure treats its fire fighters with reverence. The heroes who brave fiery flames in the Big Easy may appear to be grizzled, rough-and-tumble professionals, but deep down inside they have the sensibilities of a delicate flower. Particularly when it comes to colorful language.

Section 74-2 of the New Orleans City Code states "It shall be unlawful and a breach of the peace for any person wantonly to curse or revile or to use obscene or opprobrious language toward or with reference to any member of the city fire department while in the actual performance of his duty." The law is still on the books, but was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1974 [sources: Code of Ordinances, Lewis v. New Orleans]. Now, we just need to find out what "opprobrious" means.


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