Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Loud Car Stereos

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Damon W. Root
December 17, 2012

In February 2007 a Florida lawyer named Richard T. Catalano was issued a $73.50 ticket for blasting the music of pop star Justin Timberlake out of his car in violation of a state law that made it illegal to “amplify the sound produced by a radio, tape player, or other mechanical soundmaking device or instrument from within the motor vehicle” so that the sound is “plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more.”

Arguing that the law was “unconstitutionally vague, overbroad, virtually guarantees arbitrary enforcement and infringes on the First Amendment,” Catalano brought suit, representing himself in court. “I guess I’m their worst nightmare,” he quipped. “I’m a lawyer with time.”

Unfortunately for Sunshine State lawmakers, the nightmare just got worse. Last Thursday the Florida Supreme Court unanimously voided the car stereo law as “unconstitutionally overbroad and an impermissible content-based restriction.” As the court held:

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This article was posted: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

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