Federal Court Rules Man’s COVID-19 Joke Was Protected Speech

August 31, 2023

In March 2020, Waylon Bailey posted a COVID-19 joke on his Facebook page. At the bottom of the post was a hashtag referencing Brad Pitt's "World War Z." Three hours later, he says a swat team descended on his home and he was arrested. The local district attorney refused to prosecute and Bailey later sued the sheriff's office that arrested him. Now, a federal court has decided that Bailey's joke may have been in "poor taste" but was constitutionally protected speech.

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