Sunday, March 25, 2007

Barking Not Part Of Free Speech, Court Rules

Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution, but what about the freedom to bark?

The North Dakota Supreme Court has rejected a claim that an anti-barking ordinance is unconstitutional.

Fred Kilkenny got a ticket for his barking dogs in Belfield, N.D., even though he was in Mississippi at the time helping Hurricane Katrina victims. His lawyer argued that Belfield's anti-barking law is too vague to be fairly enforced.

But the judges on the state's high court saw no reason to muzzle local officials. The ruling noted that similar dog-barking ordinances have constitutional teeth.

Kilkenny may take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.

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