The First Amendment is serious – except when it’s not.
Comedian Lenny Bruce, a hero of stand-up comedy, was arrested April 3, 1964 — 50 years ago — in New York City during his act for saying profane words on stage. Bruce’s routine was mild in comparison to what today’s comedians say on stage — but at the time, it meant a series of confrontations with local police in various cities.
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Justin Abodalo is a legal-issues intern at the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C., and a law student at Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. He can be reached at email@example.com.