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"Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case goes to Supreme Court

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"Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case goes to Supreme Court

Postby stomperrob » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:46 pm

Got a kick outta this one:
Supreme Court takes 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case(12/01/06 - WASHINGTON) - The Supreme Court stepped into a dispute over free speech Friday involving a suspended high school student and his banner that proclaimed "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

The justices agreed to hear the appeal by the Juneau, Alaska, school board and principal Deborah Morse of a lower court ruling that allowed the student's civil rights lawsuit to proceed. The school board hired former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr to argue its case to the high court.


Morse suspended Frederick after he displayed the banner, with its reference to marijuana use, when the Olympic torch passed through Juneau in 2002 on its way to the Winter Games in Salt Lake City.


Frederick, then a senior, was off school property when he hoisted the banner but was suspended for violating the school's policy of promoting illegal substances at a school-sanctioned event.


The school board upheld the suspension, and a federal judge initially dismissed Frederick's lawsuit. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the banner was vague and nonsensical and Frederick's civil rights had been violated.


At that point, the school board retained Starr, who investigated President Clinton's relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He took the case free of charge.


The appeals court said that even if the banner could be construed as a positive message about marijuana use, the school could not punish or censor a student's speech because it promotes a social message contrary to one the school favors.


Frederick said his motivation for unfurling the banner, at least 14 feet long, was simple: He wanted it seen on television since the torch relay event was being covered by local stations. When Morse saw it, she crossed the street from the school, grabbed the banner and crumpled it. She later suspended Frederick for 10 days.


Morse still works for the Juneau school system but is no longer the high school principal. Frederick is a student at the University of Idaho.


The court is expected to hear arguments in the case in late February. In addition to the First Amendment issue, the court also will consider whether Morse can be held personally liable for monetary damages.


The appeals panel said she could be held liable because she admitted to being aware of the pertinent case law regarding student rights. The court said the law was clear and Morse was aware of it when she punished Frederick.


The case is Juneau School Board v. Frederick, 06-278.

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Postby josebach » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:51 pm

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Postby Redskins Win » Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:13 pm

Funny i thought this was going to be a congratz thread for child of god ;-D
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Postby knapplc » Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:18 pm

They shoulda shot him. ;-7
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Postby The Balanced Man » Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:25 pm

Legally speaking... :-)

Since Freedom of Speech is a Fundamental Right enumerated in the Constitution, the court will look at this in a light most favorable to the student. In order for the School to win, it must be shown:

1. The school had a great interest in curbing the speech
2. The schools of “policy of promoting illegal substances at a school-sanctioned event” must be narrowly tailored to achieve that goal or interest.
3. Finally, there cannot be a less restrictive way to effectively achieve the interest.

I believe the kid will win. This policy is too broad, and doesn’t pass step #2 above. Essentially, the school could sanction ANY event, and curb free speech.


For anyone who cares… :-?
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Postby knapplc » Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:53 pm

The Balanced Man wrote:Legally speaking... :-)

Since Freedom of Speech is a Fundamental Right enumerated in the Constitution, the court will look at this in a light most favorable to the student. In order for the School to win, it must be shown:

1. The school had a great interest in curbing the speech
2. The schools of “policy of promoting illegal substances at a school-sanctioned event” must be narrowly tailored to achieve that goal or interest.
3. Finally, there cannot be a less restrictive way to effectively achieve the interest.

I believe the kid will win. This policy is too broad, and doesn’t pass step #2 above. Essentially, the school could sanction ANY event, and curb free speech.


For anyone who cares… :-?



So the litmus test is whether there is a better way to curb promotion of illegal substances, not whether the speech itself is offensive? Is that what you're saying?

Doesn't this essentially boil down to whether the kid is able to promote the use of his illegal drug of choice? I think the 1st Amendment does protect this, whether we like it or not...
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Postby josebach » Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:50 pm

The Balanced Man wrote:I believe the kid will win. This policy is too broad, and doesn’t pass step #2 above. Essentially, the school could sanction ANY event, and curb free speech.


It will be a real shame if he does.

I can't stand punks like that. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should. The only hope I have is that he matures one day and realizes what a complete ass he was. What's next, "Pedophiles for Christ"? Give me a break.
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Postby Popcynical » Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:56 pm

josebach wrote:
The Balanced Man wrote:I believe the kid will win. This policy is too broad, and doesn’t pass step #2 above. Essentially, the school could sanction ANY event, and curb free speech.


It will be a real shame if he does.

I can't stand punks like that. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should. The only hope I have is that he matures one day and realizes what a complete ass he was. What's next, "Pedophiles for Christ"? Give me a break.


How will it be a shame if he wins? You can't limit free speech to things that you agree to.
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Postby josebach » Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:19 pm

Popcynical wrote:
josebach wrote:
The Balanced Man wrote:I believe the kid will win. This policy is too broad, and doesn’t pass step #2 above. Essentially, the school could sanction ANY event, and curb free speech.


It will be a real shame if he does.

I can't stand punks like that. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should. The only hope I have is that he matures one day and realizes what a complete ass he was. What's next, "Pedophiles for Christ"? Give me a break.


How will it be a shame if he wins? You can't limit free speech to things that you agree to.


It will be a shame if he wins because he will be rewarded for purposely trying to piss people off. What if everyone did that? What if everyone went around purposely trying to make other people angry? Is that the kind of world you want to live in? I really don't care if he wins or not, I just don't want him to be given a monetary reward for acting like a jackass. That will only encourage others to do it. Frigging people sue over everything.
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Postby Popcynical » Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:50 pm

The Klu Klux Klan doesn't make me happy, but they still have a right to assemble and speak their minds.
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