1.    Majority Opinion

a.  Yes, and D’s conviction is reversed.  Harlan, writing for the
majority in this famous opinion, made a number of holdings.  First,
he held that the legend on the jacket was not obscene.  He defined
obscenity as “in some significant way, erotic.”  No erotic “psychic
stimulation” could reasonably have been expected to result when
anybody read the jacket.
b.  The State claimed D’s message had been “thrust upon unwilling or
unsuspecting,” and that the State had the power to protect such
“captive audiences” from offensive language.  But Harlan took a
narrow view of what constitutes a true “captive audience.”  In order
for person to be a captive audience, he must show his “substantial
privacy interests are being invaded in an essentially intolerable
manner.”  Only will this prevent speech from not falling under the
First Am.  The situation here was quite different from that of, say,
a person forced to listen to the “raucous emissions of sound trucks
blaring outside his residence,” because in this case, those in the
courthouse could have “avoided further bombardment of their senses
simply by averting their eyes.”
1.  Is it really realistic that children in the courthouse could
avert their eyes?  Would about employees?  Would it make a difference
if D had been in a courtroom instead of a hallway (in terms of
averting eyes)?
c.    No one at courthouse actually violently reacted to D’s
1.    Dave says that the Court was weary of the State suppressing
speech here because nobody at the courthouse actually violently
reacted to D’s jacket.  This would suggest that the CA. statute—which
was to prevent disturbing the peace or quiet of a person—was not very
applicable in this case.
d.    The State did not meet the test from Chaplinsky.  Fighting
words must be addressed to the ordinary citizen and must be
inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction from the ordinary
citizen.  Here, while D’s displaying of “fuck” was provocative, it
was clearly not “directed to the person of the hearer.”  No
individual actually or likely to be present could reasonably have
regarded the words on D’s jacket as a direct personal insult.  Not is
this an instance where D intentionally provoked a given group to
hostile reaction.
e.    Lastly, Harlan rejected the state’s most general claim, that
it had the right to ban certain expletives in order to “maintain what
[officials] regard as a suitable level of discourse within the body
politic.”  He stressed that the First Am. general function is to
“remove governmental restraints for the area of public discussion.”
He then pointed to specific reasons why the State could not ban
speech like D’s.  First, he said there was no way to distinguish
“fuck” from other words, and that the preferable constitutional
position was to simply leave matters of “taste and style” to the
individual, especially since “one man’s vulgarity is another’s
lyric.”  Secondly, this was not simply a situation in which D chose
vulgar words to express an idea that could have been equally well
expressed by more polite language.  The language he chose conveyed
not only an intellectual idea, but also “otherwise inexpressible
emotions,” and the First Am. protects this “emotive function” of
speech just as much as substance of the ideas.  Third and lastly,
government might often ban particular words (i.e., fuck) as a
smokescreen for banning the expression of unpopular views (dissent
against Vietnam).