Too frequently it seems government, and that includes the courts, has abandoned the guiding light by which most of us live: common sense. Thank heaven the Ohio Supreme Court based a ruling squarely on it this week.
A Wayne County resident challenged the state's disorderly conduct statute, claiming its provisions - specifically on loud noise - were unconstitutionally vague. The man had been arrested after, during a Halloween party, he refused three times to turn down loud music his neighbors had reported to police.
State Supreme Court justices rejected the man's claim. The law is clear enough, they decided. It bans "recklessly causing inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to another by ... making excessive noise."
Justices decided, in effect, that people "of ordinary intelligence" can define "excessive."
Of course they can. If noise is loud enough to prompt someone to call the police, who agree with that judgment, it is excessive.
This isn't a license to use the statute as an excuse to harass others, of course. Remember, law enforcement officers have to be convinced noise is excessive, too.
But it is a blow for common sense. The court is to be commended for it.