High Court Upholds Student's Suspension 

High Court Upholds Student's Suspension 
Posted by CN Staff on June 25, 2007 at 12:54:27 PT
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Washington, DC -- A divided U.S. Supreme Court gave schools new authority to restrict students' speech today, saying pupils can be punished for statements that an administrator reasonably interprets as promoting illegal drug use. The 5-3 ruling is likely to have little effect in California, however, because state law contains strong protections for free speech on campus.
In upholding the 10-day suspension of an Alaska high school senior for raising a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus'' at a school-sanctioned event outside campus, the court majority insisted it was not abandoning free-speech principles for students that the court established in 1969. In that case, the justices upheld students' rights to wear black armbands as a protest against the Vietnam War and said schools must allow free expression unless it disrupts education. "Our cases make clear that students do not 'shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech at the schoolhouse gate,' " Chief Justice John Roberts said in today's ruling, quoting from the 1969 decision. The difference in the Alaska case, he said, was that the school principal had reasonably interpreted the student's banner, though "cryptic,'' as promoting the use of bongs, or marijuana pipes. "Schools may take steps to safeguard those entrusted to their care from speech that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging illegal drug use,'' Roberts said. Dissenting justices said the ruling continued the court's retreat from the free-speech principles of the 1969 ruling. In two rulings in the 1980s, the court allowed schools to punish students' sexually suggestive speech and to censor student newspapers. "The court's ham-handed, categorical approach is deaf to the constitutional imperative to permit unfettered debate, even among high school students, about the wisdom of the war on drugs,'' Justice John Paul Stevens wrote. While arguing that the court shouldn't have accepted the principal's "strained reading'' of the banner, Stevens said the ruling would also allow school administrators to punish a student's message that seriously challenged drug laws. That, he said, would be contrary to the spirit of the 1969 case. Roberts was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Alito and Kennedy wrote separately to say they would not endorse discipline for political dissent. Thomas, in a separate opinion, said freedom of speech does not apply to public schools. Complete Title: High Court Upholds Student's Suspension for 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Banner Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Monday, June 25, 2007Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Articles:Court Tightens Limits on Student Speech Court Nixes 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Hits 4 Jesus
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 25, 2007 at 15:50:38 PT
News Article from The Huffington Post
He Should've Said: "Legalize Bong Hits 4 Jesus"
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on June 25, 2007 at 15:50:30 PT
Supremes 4 Fascism!
It seems that the supremes were very busy screwing the people today...Supreme Court hands Bush, GOP leaders, developers victories: a supreme court ready to rubber stamp all of the unconstitutional, draconian laws passed since the 9/11 inside job, the fascists now have all of the pieces in place for their next "terror attack"...FYI: Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran? WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...David Ray Griffin: The Preeminent Importance of 9/11: 7 collapse videos shown on local news - Chico, CA (video): 9/11 Study Has Direct Links To Government, Pentagon Black Ops:'s Accomplices to High Treason and Mass Murder: Their Photos and Phone Numbers: Simulation: Full of Hot Air: Around WTC 7: 77 Black Box Data Shows Major Flaws in the Official Story: WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
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Comment #8 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 25, 2007 at 15:10:33 PT
Hemp For Jesus! Is that allowed?
King Hemp part 2: Battle Lines: Natural, Or Synthetic...Life, Or DeathHemp is about life, renewal and future, power to The People...most everything America’s embedded fascist regime is not about.
King Hemp part 2
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Comment #7 posted by dongenero on June 25, 2007 at 15:03:50 PT
Justice John Paul Stevens
Good for you Justice Stevens!As for this ruling and as for Justices Anthony Kennedy, Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito......God save us and God save the United States of America.
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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 25, 2007 at 14:58:30 PT
He wasn't on school grounds, though, Taylor.
Students don't have the right to say anything anywhere!
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Comment #5 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 25, 2007 at 14:55:42 PT
How ironic!
"Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor," (Chief Butthead, er, Justice) Roberts said.He said this not about an individual student's right to hold up a banner in public, which he is against, but about a rich corporation's right to put up television commercials about elections with no restrictions.The poor have no rights, because they are all reserved for the rich.
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Comment #4 posted by Taylor121 on June 25, 2007 at 14:55:05 PT
Terrible ruling 
Very disappointing to me. If you are on school ground, kiss your rights away.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 25, 2007 at 14:09:48 PT
AP: High Court Signals Rightward Tilt
By Mark Sherman, 
Associated Press WriterJune 25, 2007WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court liberated corporate and union political spending, limited students' speech and shielded the White House faith-based program from legal challenge Monday in 5-4 rulings that pointed up the court's shift to the right.President Bush's two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, were front and center. They wrote the main opinions in those three decisions - including the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" free-speech case - as well as another ruling that had been sought by the administration and business groups in an environmental case.Complete Article:
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Comment #2 posted by mykeyb420 on June 25, 2007 at 13:47:52 PT:
Hank hill
This remindes me of the episode of King of the Hill where Hank tell Bobby that he can't wear a t-shirt that says
 " Satan Sucks" because it has THAT word on it. Bobby replies "What word? satan or sucks?"
 because if you are anti-shirt,,then you are pro satan
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Comment #1 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 25, 2007 at 13:12:12 PT
Perhaps this nation's biggest problem -
There is nothing anyone can do about a corrupt Supreme Court that ignores both the letter and the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.
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