Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Free Speech Case

  Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Free Speech Case

Posted by CN Staff on March 19, 2007 at 13:07:29 PT
By David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer 
Source: Los Angeles Times  

Washington, DC -- High school students may have a right to free speech, but it does not go so far as to include the freedom to unfurl a banner promoting "bong hits" at a school event, former U.S. Solicitor General Kenneth Starr told the Supreme Court today. "This is disruptive of the educational mission and inconsistent with the school's message" against using drugs, Starr said.
Starr, now dean of the Pepperdine Law School, represents a school principal from Juneau, Alaska, who was sued for ripping down the banner and suspending the student who unfurled it. The case forces the court to reconsider the line between a student's right to free expression and a principal's authority to limit what is said and done at school. During the hourlong argument, the justices struggled to draw such a line. Most of them sounded as though they leaned in favor of the school principal. At the same time, they were wary of saying officials have broad power to punish students whenever they think a student's message is offensive or inappropriate. Several religious-rights groups filed briefs supporting the student's free-speech right in this case. Their lawyers worry that school officials might, for example, say it was inappropriate for a student to wear a T-shirt that praised Jesus Christ. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said it would be "disturbing" if principals had such broad authority to pass judgment on what students say at or near school. But Starr said the court could rule narrowly and give principals the power to forbid signs and banners promoting drugs, alcohol or tobacco. "This case is ultimately about drugs," he said. ACLU: Morse v. Frederick, 06-278:  Snipped:Complete Article: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:    David G. Savage, Times Staff WriterPublished: March 19, 2007Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Articles:Court Hears Bong Hits 4 Jesus Case To Hear 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Case

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Comment #15 posted by BGreen on March 19, 2007 at 19:53:31 PT
Do all of Kenneth Starr's cases involve
an object that you place your lips upon and suck?I don't mean to be crass (OK, yes I do, LOL) but I think the man might have some sort of Freudian phallic complex.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #14 posted by mayan on March 19, 2007 at 18:30:21 PT
A Genius
Joseph Frederick is a genius. I believe this was a calculated move from the beginning and it is unfolding just as he had hoped. Now, the absurdity of the authoritarian government and it's insane laws will be illuminated on the highest peak. The ever-dim fascists have played right into his hands!Some folks may even be enlightened to the fact that Jesus very likely used cannabis to heal. Whatever the supremes decide we are bound to learn a great deal as to just where this society stands. Enlightenment is Coming.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Rosie: Was 9/11 inside job to protect Enron? O'Donnell Goes Public On 9/11: O'Donnel Joins 9/11 Conspiracy Crowd: of Support for Rosie O'Donnell This Wednesday at ABC Studios: separate peace? 
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Comment #13 posted by The GCW on March 19, 2007 at 18:26:47 PT
By extension...
They could stop students from listening to music that they consider wrong... deem inapropriate... supports legalizing "drugs"...
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Comment #12 posted by Toker00 on March 19, 2007 at 18:11:01 PT
420 to you too, Bgreen.
Ancay ouyay eakspay igpay atinlay ootay? Oketay.
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Comment #11 posted by BGreen on March 19, 2007 at 17:43:59 PT
Str8 up, I h8 using #'s 2 replace words
Although, It's probably 2 L8 2 stop it. LOLHowever, expanding on E_Johnson's grammar post, it would be a presumptuous to assume, in the course of proper grammar, that the number "4" means anything else than the number 4.The Reverend Bud 44444
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on March 19, 2007 at 16:50:06 PT
I've been thinking that Alaska sounds like a great place. It sounds like the only place left in the US where people still even care about the concept of freedom & civil liberties.Too bad it's ruled by evil Republicans! Still, it seems like the only American place left with even a vestige of personal freedom.
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on March 19, 2007 at 16:43:52 PT
But the slogan is ambiguous
The meaning of the slogan Bong Hits 4 Jesus depends on which verb you supply in your head to go along with the preposition "for."This is a fight to ban ambiguous speech, that's what it is.This case is not just a symptom of intolerance -- it's a manifestation of ignorance and dare we even say insanity?
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Comment #8 posted by whig on March 19, 2007 at 16:29:45 PT
If the conservatives were to win, you'd have corporal punishment in the schools. Just try to speak up, son.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 16:26:31 PT
CNN Video: Bong Hits For Jesus
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Comment #6 posted by Max Flowers on March 19, 2007 at 16:02:45 PT
I love it! (#4)
Best thing that could have happened! A judge demonstrating personally that smoking pot is no big deal, and that it doesn't impair your work (I'm assuming his work as a judge is competent).
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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on March 19, 2007 at 15:58:52 PT
Go ahead and let it chill
Don't worry about a chilling effect on free speech in high school, folks. Today's high school students aren't as easily intimidated as we may have been in our day. I just had a flash, that instead of worrying, we should just have faith that young people are going to take the initiative more and more to fight the things they have to. Imagine being a 16 year old in today's world. They have to be tougher, and I think a lot of them are. The idea of some pompous black-robed "justices" dictating what they can say is no doubt as ridiculous to them now as it was to us before.If I'm wrong, and they (the kids) are all a bunch of apathetic cowards, then America is dead in the water. Simple as that.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 14:35:34 PT

Marijuana Really Is Everywhere
Just when you think that we won't have to hear anymore about Anna Nicole Smith this comes along.***Police: Smith Judge Caught Using PotJudge Lawrence Korda Puffing In Park, Police Say March 19, 2007HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- A Broward County judge who was part of the Anna Nicole Smith proceedings was discovered smoking pot in a Hollywood park Sunday and will have to appear in court for his actions, according to police.Complete Article:

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 14:26:31 PT

News Article from MTV
Could 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Case Chill Free Speech In Schools?
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on March 19, 2007 at 14:07:34 PT

Supreme Court of the United States is Worthless
The majority of their rulings are in favor of government and/or big business. The US Constitutional court system needs to be revamped with rules in place that will help the justices understand that their job is to protect the people in accordance with the constitution. As it is now they are just a rubber stamp, neither the legislative branch nor the executive branch nor the people respect the Justices of the Supreme Court. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 13:33:24 PT

Starr Said
"This case is ultimately about drugs," he said. Why does Starr call Cannabis a drug? It's an herb not a drug. A drug is made by man and cannabis isn't made by man.
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