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December 2006
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Supreme Court Justices take Bong Hits for Jesus

This is not good.

The Supreme Court entered into a free-speech dispute Friday involving a high school student suspended over a “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner.
The justices accepted an appeal from a school board in Juneau, Alaska, after a federal appeals court allowed a lawsuit by the family of Joseph Frederick to proceed.[…]
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California [concluded] the school could not show Frederick had disrupted the school’s educational mission by showing a banner off campus.

The fact that the Supreme Court agreed to take such a silly case is troubling, although I don’t know enough about the appeal to know if it’s strictly an attempt to overturn the 9th Circuit free speech decision, or if it has more to do with the right to sue the school and principal over the case.
And of course, it will be high profile, with Kenneth Starr taking on the case for the school board.
We may need to follow this one closely…

The case will test school’s ability to regulate speech on illegal drugs, particularly when it is done off school grounds.

The government would very much like to be able to keep people from telling the truth about drugs. Would schools then be able to prohibit students from participating in groups like Students for Sensible Drug Policy? How many steps away would that be?

[Thanks, Russell]

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