Featured Case: Kenny v. Wilson

April 7, 2023

Several children sit at their desks in a school classroom, with backpacks on their chairs, facing the teacher.

This class action lawsuit, filed in 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, challenged two provisions of South Carolina law that made it a crime for elementary and secondary school students to act "disorderly," in a "boisterous manner," to use "obscene or profane language" or to "interfere with," "loiter about," or "act in an obnoxious manner" at school.  In 2021, the district court granted summary judgment in plaintiffs' favor, holding that the laws were unconstitutionally vague and enjoining enforcement. In February 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed, holding that the laws failed to give the requisite fair warning about which expressive behaviors might expose them to criminal penalties, and lacked sufficient guardrails to prevent arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.  Read more about the case here