Bong Hits 4 Jesus in Court

In 2002, Joseph Fredericks hoisted the banner shown above across the street from his high school in Juneau, Alaska. He was suspended from school, a decision which he and his father appealed to the school district and eventually in court. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Frederick, and ruled that the school was guilty of violating his First Amendment right of free speech.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears a petition to reconsider the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case. Representing the Juneau school district is Kenneth Starr, famous for his investigation of Whitewater and Monica's stained dress. Oddly enough, Frederick has received support from both liberal and conservative groups... even Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (the uber right wing group that is most famous for fighting for the rights of schools to display nativity scenes) supports Frederick's free speech rights.

Frederick claims that his message was neither drug-related, nor religious. It was instead intended to be humorous, and it was erected on private property, not on school grounds. Starr plans to argue that the activity going on at the time - an Olympic Torch parade - was effectively a school field trip, thus giving the school the right to suppress speech that expressed a pro-drug position in an academic setting.

Feel free to comment - your First Amendment rights are safe in the Flock (unless you've already been excommunicated - you apostates know who you are...).


Flynn said...

I guess I can see the schools point of view, but I'm going to have to side entirely with the kid on this one. I'll support the freedom to say whatever you need to, so long as your not actually verbally assaulting someone. Which this is clearly not..

Big Gay Jim said...

Well, since I've even defended Phelps' right to blather on, I'm totally for the kid. And it helps that I agree with him. ;) It's always odd to me how a religious, conservative, and/or government entity can support the right to free speech only as long as they agree with the message. Example: free speech is fine when it permits students to pray in school or someone to post God's Top 10 List. It's not when it allows queer students to meet or a student to disagree with someone else.

Post a Comment