Court To Hear 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Case 

Court To Hear 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Case 
Posted by CN Staff on March 19, 2007 at 07:39:14 PT
By Mark Sherman, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Washington, DC -- Scores of students waited outside the Supreme Court on Monday for a chance to listen to arguments in a test of student speech rights - a high school senior's display of a banner reading ``Bong Hits 4 Jesus.'' ``I would never do it, but at the same time, it's free speech,'' said Chaim Frenkel, 17, of Silver Spring, Md. Frenkel was one of 13 seniors and their teacher from the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy who arrived at the court at 4:30 a.m. EDT.
Natasha Braithwaite, 20, a junior at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Md., got in line at 7 a.m. with a definite opinion about the case. ``In every possible way, his First Amendment rights were violated,'' Braithwaite said. Joseph Frederick was a high school senior in Juneau, Alaska, when he decided to display the banner at a school-sanctioned event to watch the Olympic torch pass through the city on its way to the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Principal Deborah Morse believed his ``Bong Hits 4 Jesus'' banner was a pro-drug message that schools should not tolerate. She suspended Frederick for 10 days. Frederick sued Morse, and that case now is before the court. Frederick acknowledged he was trying to provoke a reaction from school administrators with whom he had feuded, but he denied that he was speaking out in favor of drugs or anything other than free speech. A bong is a water pipe that is used to smoke marijuana. ``I waited until the perfect moment to unveil it, as the TV cameras (following the torch relay) passed,'' Frederick said. Morse and the Juneau school district argue that schools will be powerless to discipline students who promote illegal drugs if the court sides with Frederick. The Bush administration, other school boards and anti-drug school groups are supporting Morse. Frederick, now 23, counters that students could be silenced if the court reverses the appellate ruling. A wide assortment of conservative and liberal advocacy groups are behind Frederick. In a Vietnam War era case, the court backed high school student anti-war protesters who wore armbands to class. Since then, though, the court has sanctioned curtailing student speech when it is disruptive to a school's educational mission, plainly offensive or part of a school-sponsored activity like a student newspaper. A federal appeals court called Frederick's message ``vague and nonsensical'' in ruling that his civil rights had been violated. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also said Morse would have to compensate Frederick for her actions because she should have known they violated the Constitution. Frederick, who teaches English and studies Mandarin in China, was not expected at the court for the argument. Two years after the banner incident, Frederick pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of selling marijuana, according to Texas court records. The case is Morse v. Frederick, 06-278. Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Mark Sherman, Associated Press WriterPublished:  Monday March 19, 2007Copyright: 2007 Associated Press Related Articles:Student Free Speech vs. School Drug Policy Banner Free-Speech Dispute To Hit SC Court Takes On 'Bong Hits'
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 12:21:51 PT
A Reuters Article
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Comment #11 posted by sam adams on March 19, 2007 at 12:14:44 PT
one point
Can I just point something out?  "School-sanctioned event" is a crock of BS. The kid woke up, got dressed, and went down to a public sidewalk. If that is a school-sanctioned event, I can think of many other things that are.Let's also remember that every family in the US is legally obligated to send their kid to public school, or be jailed. (if you can't afford or choose not to use a private school). If your kid isn't in private school or attending public school, you must be home-schooling the kid, with all lesson plans and curriculum approved by the local government.If parents don't comply, they are jailed. I am not exaggerating at all, this is the law. So, my point is, if you're under 18 in the US, your entire life is a "government-sanctioned" event. This case will only confirm that people under 21 in the US have NO rights whatsoever, they live in a totalitarian police state.Notice that I'm not giving any chance of success in this case at all. With sneering, bigoted Scalia on the bench? Forget it. 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 11:50:21 PT
I think June.
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on March 19, 2007 at 11:32:29 PT
How many months do We wait?
Will it take a year for the robed ones to figure it out?
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Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on March 19, 2007 at 09:53:26 PT
Slip slidin' away... (your rights) ... 
As we have seen with the most recent decision on Raich in the 9th Circuit, with the Supreme court's earlier decisions on anything having to do with marijuana, and on the FDA's stance on the issue etc. etc., after compassion, common sense and science, freedom of speech is next on the chopping block in the war on a plant(s).Marijuana is such a formidable opponent you can just see your rights melt away!On the other hand Joseph Frederick is getting a lot of bang for his 'buck'! Marijuana again has the national attention (lots of free advertising). No wonder the industry has grown ten-fold in the last 20 years! Way to go ...I wish it would also promote the fact that Jesus used marijuana indeed!Now, I will just resort to take a bong hit for Jesus myself as a good Christian, cheers...
Nobody can stop this!
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Comment #7 posted by Toker00 on March 19, 2007 at 09:51:23 PT
OT: Mad TV : The I rack. U gotta C this.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 09:50:45 PT
Updated Associated Press Article
Court Hears 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Case
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 09:37:28 PT
Press Release from Business Wire
ACLJ Calls on Supreme Court to Protect Free Speech Rights of Students March 19, 2007 WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, said today the Supreme Court has an important opportunity to protect the free speech rights of students to express their views on controversial topics that may be deemed unacceptable to a school district. The Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in Morse v. Frederick – a case in which the ACLJ filed an amicus brief in support of student speech. “The high court should uphold the long tradition of protecting the free speech rights of students – even when it’s a message most would disagree with,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “While we strongly disagree with the student’s message in this case, the fact is that unless student speech is protected a message considered appropriate today could be deemed offensive tomorrow. We want to ensure that students who hold pro-life and pro-family positions will continue to be able to present those messages without censorship. That is why the Supreme Court must reject the school board’s argument in this case.” In December, the Supreme Court decided to take a case out of Alaska where a school district suspended a student for displaying a banner that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” – which the school contends advocates marijuana use. The student admits the banner was displayed for one reason – to attract media attention during a parade when the Olympic torch passed through Juneau in 2002 on its way to Salt Lake City. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the student and the school district asked the Supreme Court to take the appeal. In its friend-of-the-court brief filed with the Supreme Court, the ACLJ urges the high court to protect student speech. The brief asserts: “The school district has engaged in blatant viewpoint-based censorship of student speech . . . A school’s basic educational mission does not confer blanket authorization for viewpoint suppression of student speech.” In addition, the brief argues: “It would be regrettable if the Court were to resolve the important questions of constitutional law at issue here in the context of a jokester’s prank, rather than a student’s bearing of a serious message.” “School districts must not be entrusted with the authority to arbitrarily determine what student speech is offensive and off limits,” said Sekulow. “In the future, that could put all student speech at risk – including speech that advocates Christian beliefs on any issue – including abortion or marriage.” The case is Morse v. Frederick and is No. 06-278. A decision is expected by the end of the term this summer. Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice specializes in constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. The ACLJ is online at: Contacts 
American Center for Law and Justice
For Print:
Gene Kapp, 757-575-9520
For Broadcast:
Christy Lynn Wilson or Todd Shearer, 770-813-0000Visit ACLJ Newsroom:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 09:30:17 PT
Related Article from The Washington Post Blog
High Court Takes "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case, Toke Two"Free Speech or Half Baked Lawsuit?"March 19, 2007 
 Rehashing one of my more popular articles from last year, the Supreme Court, today, takes up the case of Morse v. Frederick. Considered by some to be the "most important student free-speech conflict to reach the Supreme Court since the height of the Vietnam War," it could decide how and to what extent schools can regulate their students' jokes. The case first sparked controversy in 2002, when high school senior Joseph Frederick unfurled a 14-foot banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" during a field trip to watch the Olympic torch pass through Juneau, Alaska. By his own admission, he did it for the juvenile, albeit innocent, reasons that it was funny and it would get him on TV. His principal at the time, Deborah Morse, did not see the humor, but probably noticed the TV cameras and asked him to remove the banner. When he refused, she tore down the sign and suspended him for 10 days. But, potentially seeing an even better opportunity to get on TV, Frederick sued, alleging that she had violated his right to freedom of speech. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him, ruling that school officials may not "punish and censor non-disruptive" speech by students at school-sponsored events simply because they object to the message.Complete Article:
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on March 19, 2007 at 09:20:12 PT
OT: Backbone campaign
I got this same poll from move.on and didn't post it here for the same reasons that follow:
$124 Billion to Put Lipstick on a PIG?! NO WAY!
Tell MoveOn & Progressive Caucus It's Time To Show Spine
Send Pelosi Back to the Drawing Board...
(and have Representatives Lee, Woolsey, and Waters help her.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dear Friends,Sunday morning I woke up to a poll from MoveOn. It asked me to vote whether MoveOn should support or oppose the $100+ Billion supplemental to pay for another year of occupation. After spending Saturday in Tacoma, WA with hundreds of people, busting our asses marching in the streets with puppets and placards including our Giant Backbone, 50 foot Constitution, and drums, and planning to have the Chain Gang and Constitution in Seattle to do the same on Monday, my jaw dropped. Who are these people and what are they thinking? Why the hell are they organizing vigils - and what the hell do they think people are showing up for?!The MoveOn email gave very little context and provided choices that seemed to purposefully guide participants to their predetermined preference to support Leader Pelosi's version of supplemental. They insinuated that progressives are more or less supportive of this effort, etc. Hog wash!Progressives have offered alternatives and amendments and all have been rejected. Rumor has it that some have been threatened with primary challenges. Democrats are prolonging the occupation for political reasons and it seems that MoveOn is now completely in bed with the party leadership (doing political calculus under the silk sheets of grandiosity - with a flashlight so dim they can't see that AMERICA WANTS OUT! in bold, 24 point font.) (Read more).Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Lynn Woolsey, a legislator with a backbone for ending the occupation. MoveOn did not point out that that the Pelosi's Supplemental Appropriation's bill:  * Will keep the war going well into 2008;
  * It omits Rep.. Barbara Lee's amendment, which would have fully funded withdrawal by the end of the 2007;
  * It gives the President the right to waive requirements that troops sent to Iraq must be properly trained, equipped and rested;
  * The funds can be used for attacking Iran, since the final version removed language saying the president had to get authorization from Congress before attacking Iran.
  * And finally, MoveOn neglects to tell its members how absurd it is to give George Bush another $100 billion for war when there is no military solution to the violence in Iraq.(Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Progressive Caucus Co-Chair sitting with Spine Card delivered by Backbone Patrol on Jan. 29, 2007 in gratitude for her sponsorship of HR 508 a comprehensive progressive alternative to the current non-plan.)Whether you prefer the "lipstick on a pig" analogy or my personal favorite "You can't polish shit" America has better things to do than prolong an expensive, counter-productive occupation of Iraq (Katrina/Healthcare/RenewableEnergy/Etc.) We'll have to spend the money on "Operation Homecoming" eventually. It's better we do it now, invest in diplomacy and rebuilding, not surges and taking sides in a tragic civil war that would have never happened had our Congress had the backbone to to say "NO!" in the first place . They need to "Just Say No" NOW - and MoveOn does too.This Mad TV skit does a remarkable job summing up the situation. Watch it, laugh, then please call your member of Congress and tell them to appropriate money to end - not prolong the occupation of Iraq. Then if you are a member of MoveOn, and have not completed the email poll please do so and leave them a little message to "Show Some Spine!"Join the Lumbar Club!Toke.
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Comment #2 posted by whig on March 19, 2007 at 09:09:04 PT
$.40/gallon biodiesel sounds excellent.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 08:07:41 PT
Taking a Ride on The Medical Canni-Bus
Picture: By Chris ShunkMarch 19, 2007Picture it: you're a police officer on traffic patrol in an urban setting. Your patrol car is cleverly hidden within a dimly-lit side street, and you're holding your radar gun to gauge the speed of passers-by. Then you see a white GMC Express commercial van driving in the left-hand lane. The vehicle isn't speeding. Quite the opposite, the white van is going 10 mph under the speed limit. The driver of the white van appears to be pre-occupied with large quantities of fast food. Then you see it, a billboard-sized "Legalize Medical Marijuana" sign adorns the sides of the vehicle. You flip the lights pull the guy over. That's the danger for a guy named Noel every time he gets in his van. Noel's transportation is a mobile billboard for the legalization of medical Marijuana. Noel began his quest to have medical marijuana legalized after he was in a motorcycle accident that put him in a wheel chair. Noel was fed-up with the long line of expensive and potentially harmful medications that were used to ease his pain when, he felt good ole Marijuana would work even better. Besides driving the "world famous" marijuana van, Noel also has a website, cleverly titled, dedicated to marijuana awareness. The site has many different uses for the "weed" plant, including using the stalk to produce diesel fuel at a reported $.40 per gallon. Our compadre's over at Autoblog Green would be interested in checking out that little factoid since they are already studying the idea of "Hemp as fuel."We don't have a stance on the "legalize medical Marijuana" debate, but we're pretty sure we'd be okay with $.40 per gallon weed-diesel, as long as it doesn't make the engine lazy or give it the munchies.Source: Madwhips.com
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