Monday, January 22, 2007

Leaving sh#t on someone's property is a constitutional right?

I may have officially seen it all. From Colorado:
Do we have a constitutional right to leave dog poop at someone's office?

That could be the main question arising in the infamous dog-poop-under-the-door case from last year's 4th Congressional District election. In addition, the Greeley attorney for the defense said Tuesday he may even call Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., and Weld District Attorney Ken Buck as witnesses in the case.

Kathleen Ensz, 63, a former teacher at the University of Northern Colorado, was arrested last summer after she wrapped one of Musgrave's campaign brochures around some dog excrement and stuffed the package under the door at the Congresswoman's office in west Greeley. Unfortunately for Ensz, police were able to trace a partial address on the mailer and she was later arrested for "use of a noxious substance." It's a class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine, jail or both.
If spray-painting someone's property with graffiti is an act of vandalism, why would leaving a dog turd be any different? Anywho, I will continue with the "beverage warning":: If you are drinking something right now, please put it down before reading. You have been warned.
Court records Tuesday stated Ensz had become angry over the repeated mailings from Musgrave, "paid for by taxpayers." Her attorneys stated in a motion that Ensz went into her backyard, picked out what police described as a "very nice piece of feces," and returned the mailing.
A "very nice piece of feces"? I had no idea that dog shizit was graded on a scale! It must go something like this:

1 - Lousy shard of crap
2 - Below average dropping
3 - Average turd
4 - Respectable heap of dung
5 - Very nice piece of feces

And you people thought us Southerners were weird? Anywho, in closing:
Bangert wrote a motion Tuesday, stating "Ms. Ensz's action in returning an unwanted mailing from Congresswoman Musgrave ... with a piece of feces, was expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment."

Bangert also contended that Ensz couldn't receive a fair trial in Greeley because of Musgrave's "prominence in the community and government." (One can assume she is "prominent" because unlike Ensz, Musgrave never deposited pooch guano on a political opponent's doorstep! In most places, that's a pretty low threshold for "prominence in the community and government", but apparently, not in Colorado! - Ed.) The Denver attorney also contested the charge, "use of a noxious substance," as vague and unintelligible for the average person.
While vandalism via graffiti is NOT "Free Speech", vandalism via Fido's Breakfast IS? Oooooooooooooooooo-kay then!