Florida Court Strikes Down Law Prohibiting Wearing of Uniforms For People Not in the Military

thumb_soldier_army_military_gi_cartoonA Florida Appellate court has struck down an unconstitutional state law in Florida that made it unlawful to wear military uniforms if you are not in the military. The court ruled that the law violated the first amendment.

In May 2007 Fernando Montas wore an Army uniform at the Orlando International Airport. He stood in an expedited security line for military and security personnel. TSA noticed his longer hair and arrested him under the Florida law, which makes it a misdemeanor to wore such a uniform.

The law makes exemptions for actors, military cadets and both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Montas claimed that the statute violated his First Amendment and due-process rights. He contended that he wore the uniform to express his support for members of his family who are in the military. A state trial court agreed with Montas and ruled that the statute violated his constitutional rights.

On Oct. 31, 2008, the appellate court affirmed the lower court decision, holding that the law was so overbroad that it “would criminalize a child wearing his parent’s Army boots or a person wearing an imitation military uniform for Halloween.”

For the opinion, click here.

The charges against Montas have been dropped.

4 thoughts on “Florida Court Strikes Down Law Prohibiting Wearing of Uniforms For People Not in the Military”

  1. Can we all at least agree that this guys is probably just a scumbag trying to get through airport security faster? It certainly seems like the statute could be pretty easily replaced with something that could be compared to those outlawing impersonating a police officer.

  2. (I have no idea what the previous comment has to do with anything.)

    What I find interesting about this uniform case in Florida is the law’s exception made for Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts are prohibited from wearing (unaltered) military uniforms under its Congressional charter. The earliest uniforms for Boy Scouts in the US were surplus WWI uniforms, but the military buttons had to be replaced with plain or BSA-embossed ones to avoid running afoul of the charter.

    This begs the question, at what point is an altered military uniform no longer a uniform? Surely there are military surplus stores in Florida, and surely its customers don’t purchase its wares for use in the privacy of their own homes. It’s incredible this issue hasn’t been raised before.

  3. I guess it isn’t FASCISM when the left practices it is it.

    That being said, I think being 20 minutes late for your first Press Conference and then giving what amounted to a campaign speech was an extremely ridiculous start for Obama.

    I think his approval rating, after just three days, has gone from 60% to 50%.

    Three screw-ups in just three days:

    Naming a man who lied about losing a finger defending Israel in the Israeli Defense Force when he lost it to a fast food machine, a man who sent a rotten fish in the mail to a detractor, and a man who was a Director of Freddie Mac for two years 2000 to 2001 and to date who voted to obstruct further regulation of them……yes I am talking about RAHM EMMANUAL, as your Chief of Staff is totally STUPID!

    Not speaking up when Russia tested him on Wednesday by announcing they would be moving missiles to the Poland border.

    Not renouncing immediately a letter from Achmadinajad asking Obama to eliminate the sanctions on his country.

    I could go on, but hey, this is only his third day as President elect! I did notice he has his own “Office of the President Elect” seal already…..

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