/ forbidden-fruit / Cover the Fire

The word “curfew” comes from the French phrase “‘couvre-feu’” which means “cover the fire”. It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles.

Curfew law in the United States is usually a matter of city law, rather than federal law. However, the Constitution guarantees certain rights, which have been applied to the states through the 14th Amendment. Hence, any state’s curfew law may be overruled and struck down if, for example, it violates the teen’s 1st, 4th, 5th or 14th Amendment rights (or the parent’s 9th Amendment right to privacy in parenting). Nonetheless, curfews are set by state and local governments. They vary by state and even by county or municipality. In some cities there are curfews for persons under the age of 18.

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