Is a noise complaint a violation of free expression?

By Samantha Grant

Active duty naval officer Lieutenant Commander Joshua Corney has been playing a recording of taps since 2015 in his town of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania.

He began playing this military bugle call as a meaningful tribute to those who have served and are currently serving the United States military:

“It is a way to honor a promise I made to God — by taking 57 seconds each day to reflect on sacrifices made 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to obtain and sustain our freedoms,”

Over the last few years, there has been very little controversy regarding his daily broadcast of this song.  Recently however, a few of his neighbors began complaining about he noise.  In response, Glen Rock decided to limit the music to Sundays only, with the threat of a fine on Corney if he kept playing taps.

Coming from a patriotic town, Corney had many supporters who are trying to rescind this new rule as a violation of freedom of expression and speech.  Corney specified that First Amendment laws did not support behavior against actions simply because they are not universally accepted.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania sent a letter to Glen Rock stating that Corney had a right to his freedom of expression.  Currently, the new rule is under review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *