Justices Debate Student's Suspension for Banner

Justices Debate Student's Suspension for Banner
Posted by CN Staff on March 19, 2007 at 20:56:17 PT
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
Source: USA Today
Washington, DC -- In a feisty session over a student's "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner, former independent counsel Kenneth Starr urged the Supreme Court Monday to let public schools ban signs, buttons or other messages that undercut their anti-drug policy.As scores of curious students milled in and around the columned building, Starr argued that a principal in Juneau, Alaska, did not violate Joseph Frederick's speech rights when she tore down the banner he had unfurled at an Olympic Torch Relay parade in 2002.
The principal, Deborah Morse, said the "bong" phrase referred to marijuana and suspended him for 10 days. Frederick, a senior at the time, said his words were merely nonsense meant to draw television cameras as students watched the parade.A majority of the justices did not make clear how they would rule, but they were more open to Starr's anti-drug rationale than his broader argument that schools should be able to regulate any message that conflicts with the far-reaching educational mission.Monday's test of student speech rights arises as schools face increased violence and drug use on their grounds. The National School Boards Association, siding with Juneau officials, says administrators should have expansive latitude to stop messages related to subjects such as drugs, guns, homosexuality and abortion. On Frederick's side are an unusual contingent of liberal groups, including the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, and conservatives, including the Alliance Defense Fund — all worried that credible student views will be censored.Spectators began lining up for seats before dawn for the arguments that began at 10 a.m. Students who were not able to get seats in the marble and velvet courtroom gathered in front of the building. Some arrived ready to show support for Frederick and held up signs that said, "Free Speech 4 Students.""Illegal drugs and the glorification of the drug culture are profoundly serious problems for our nation," Starr said as he argued that Frederick's message promoted drugs and was "utterly inconsistent" with the basic educational mission of the school. Snipped:Complete Article: USA Today (US)Author: Joan Biskupic, USA TodayPublished: March 19, 2007Copyright: 2007 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.Contact: editor usatoday.comWebsite: Articles:Justices Weigh Free Speech vs. School Control Hears Arguments on Student Speech Court Hears Arguments in Case 
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on June 20, 2007 at 22:43:24 PT
Ontario's Premier Favors Ending Provincial Ban
EV maker may get wish as McGuinty sees light.
Tyler Hamilton, 2007/06/19. "ZENN Motor Co. may be headquartered in Toronto, but the maker of electric vehicles can't sell its product in Ontario."
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on March 20, 2007 at 21:17:44 PT
'entertainment news' 
Interesting look at an alternative to global warming, terrorism, pollution:YouTube - Who Killed the Electric Car trailer of the forces arrayed against the electric car seemed disturbingly familiar to those of us devoted to cannabis reform.Sony Pictures Classics Presents : Who Killed the Electric Car?
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 20, 2007 at 09:55:06 PT
nuevo mexican 
I know that the MSM is entertainment only. It's the way to dumb down us all. Fox is the ultimate in dumbing down people. I say phooey. I just got the Essential Leonard Cohen today and I am absdorbed in this very different and thought provoking album. So one more time. Phooey, Phooey, Phooey to our entertainment news they give us.
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Comment #9 posted by nuevo mexican on March 20, 2007 at 09:22:01 PT
Don't you know we have a free press!
Free to cover blonde's, boobs, and barbarism that is!No, the coverage was minimal, as we don't care if it's covered or not, as most people don't watch the propaganda anymore, they've moved on to the Internets, haven't they!Any news that doesn't inform you on what REALLY affects your life! How about some legislation to hold the news media accountable, let's propose some here!FOM, some coverage today, and yesterday at Democracy Now, where you don't have to listen to the News Models spin the protests as useless, nothing to see here, keep moving.....I HATE the mainstream news, makes you wanna puke, watching the horrors of bush and crew: NOT IMPORTANT, missing boy scout: The World Stops! The Far Right wing can sigh a sigh of relief, if only momentarily!Jezuus KeyRist!And everyone in the media knows this is a distraction from Roves constant control of the media, with their own brand of infodistracto-prop, while smiling like 'they know their jobs are a paid joke'!Jon Stewart and Colbert are the only 'news' you can find! Disgusting and blatant complicity on the medias' behalf.What the news isn't telling you is that last weekend, there were protests against extending the War in Iraq everywhere!Thus, you wouldn't know it, reflecting the fact that the MSM carries the water for the Political Class, whatever that means, and likes to titillate with it's headlines, and offer no substance on anything, very bush-like, where ignorance is bliss, as long as it is us that are the ignorant ones!Michael Moore's website is always up on the latest, so I check there first, then!Fairbanks, AK; Juneau, AK; Tucson, AZ; Fresno, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Palo Alto, CA; San Bernardino, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Walnut Creek, CA; Wrightwood, CA; Colorado Springs, CO; Milford, CT; Gainesville, FL; Naples, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Boise, ID; Indianapolis, IN; Terre Haute, IN; Lexington, KY; Louisville, KY; Baton Rouge, LA; Bangor, ME; Hallowell, ME; Fall River, MA; Salisbury, MD; Camdenton, MO; Columbia, MO; St. Louis, MO; Ann Arbor, MI; Traverse City, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Nanuet, NY; Lincoln, NE; Reno, NV; Hanover Township, NJ; Trenton, NJ; Albany, NY; Ithaca, NY; New Paltz, NY; New York, NY; Oneonta, NY; Rochester, NY; Syracuse, NY; Durham, NC; Fayetteville, NC; Raleigh, NC; Cleveland, OH; Dayton, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Eugene, OR; Portland, OR; Scappoose, OR; Delco, PA; Erie, PA; Huntingdon, PA; Wilkes-Barre, PA; Providence, RI; Aiken, SC; Clemson, SC; Sioux Falls, SD; Knoxville, TN; Memphis, TN; Austin, TX; Pasadena, TX; Plano, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Charlottesville, VA; Harrisonburg, VA; Bellingham, WA; Seattle, WA; Chippewa Falls, WI; Janesville, WI; Menomonie, WI, Guess who Ken Starr is the Attorney for:BLACKWATER INC.The private contractors that were started by a Christian On A Mission, and has run amok!Read Jeremy Scahills' new book: 'Blackwater'.Blackwater thinks it is above the law, and so far, has been.We can stop the War in Iraq if we expose this startling new info, and all of the details you don't want to know, but need to know!$750 Million for these guys so far, that is where our taxes go, are you pissed off yet?Watch the interview today at!We must expose, indict, convict, arrest, and imprison these guys, and their main man is Ken Starr, the same guy who has the time somehow to prosecute a high school student for a banned that says 'Bong hits for Jesus'.Can anyone see the basic link between ending prohibition, free speech, and war-profiteers! It is all as connected as the crimes of bush, where Gonzo fired attorney generals for not being 'loyal bushies'.Please watch todays' show!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 20, 2007 at 07:18:05 PT
I didn't see anything about any protests yesterday. That's the way it is down here now unfortunately. I believe until we get the Democrats in the White House this is our lot in life.
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Comment #7 posted by Had Enough on March 20, 2007 at 06:50:53 PT
Opps again
Here is the proper link, finally. I think I have it right this time....Supreme Court hears ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ case
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Comment #6 posted by Had Enough on March 20, 2007 at 06:43:19 PT
That was Wayne’s Link where I found that.
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Comment #5 posted by Had Enough on March 20, 2007 at 06:41:15 PT
From afterburners link
“Starr, joined by the Bush administration, also asked the court to adopt a broad rule that could essentially give public schools the right to clamp down on any speech with which they disagree. That argument did not appear to have widespread support among the justices.”They want to clamp down on any speech THEY disagree with.What’s wrong with this picture?I’m glad the argument did not settle right with the “Gray Eminences”This administration keeps trying every trick in the book.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on March 19, 2007 at 23:22:40 PT
Freedom Is Breaking Out All Over!
The global protests against the War on Iraq have had some decent coverage on Canadian tv. How's the coverage down south?Here's a new link to some good tunes:"Q107 Toronto Classic Rock Music" NS: PUB LTE: This Is Your Brain, On, The Coast, (15 Mar 2007)
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 22:15:10 PT
Thank you. I voted.
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Comment #2 posted by Wayne on March 19, 2007 at 22:11:45 PT
MSNBC poll: Bong Hits
MSNBC has a poll going about public opinion on this case, if anyone hasn't found it already. Over 86,000 votes as of right now, 76% of people say the banner is protected free speech. Too bad we'll have to wait until summer, but it is somewhat encouraging.
MSNBC Live Vote: Is ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ banner OK?
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 19, 2007 at 21:39:04 PT
Minnesota: MMJ Bill Takes Another Step Forward
Medical Marijuana Bill Takes Another Step Forward***By Joe Fryer, KARE 11 News March 19, 2007 
A proposal to allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana with their doctors' permission is working its way through the state legislature.The House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee approved the measure by an 11-to-8 vote Monday night, after passing a few amendments.Don Haumant testified in front of the committee. After years of suffering from chronic liver disease and other ailments, he says only one thing made a difference: marijuana."I ate more, I gained weight, I felt healthier, I felt that I could take care of myself, I could do things," he says. "I could work and be productive."When he lived in California, he was allowed to smoke marijuana for medical reasons."And then when I moved here, it was harder to obtain and the quality was less," Haumant says.He says legalizing marijuana for medical use would help eliminate those obstacles.Rep. Steve Sviggum (R - Kenyon), who once opposed such a proposal, now feels it's the compassionate thing to do."It's more of a left and right coming together, which I think is a very good bill and one Minnesota should become the 13th state to pass," Sviggum told the House committee.But there is strong opposition from law enforcement and prosecutors."Immediate and obvious areas of concern include existing conflicts with federal law, the potential for youth access and abuse, and the potential for this action being used as a platform for legalizing marijuana on a larger scale," says Mitch Weinzetl of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.Opponents fear the bill would give the impression marijuana is harmless."Smoking is harmful to the human body in any form, and it's particularly harmful with marijuana, which has significantly more dangerous chemicals than tobacco," says Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.The House version that passed Monday night is stricter than a version of the bill recently approved by a Senate committee.Governor Tim Pawlenty says he opposed the use of marijauna for medical purposes, but sponsors hope to make changes that will persuade him to sign the bill, if it passes in both houses. Copyright 2007 by KARE
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