Top US court rules against ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a school that suspended a student for brandishing a banner proclaiming "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," in one of the more bizarre recent free-speech cases.
The high-school pupil, Joseph Frederick, had argued that the school principal had infringed his constitutional right to free speech by suspending him in January 2002 over his apparently pro-cannabis message.

But in a five-three decision, the Supreme Court found that schools "may take steps to safeguard those entrusted to their care from speech that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging illegal drug use."

"We conclude that the school officials in this case did not violate the First Amendment by confiscating the pro-drug banner and suspending the student responsible for it," the ruling written by chief justice John Roberts said.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

Posted June 26, 2007 at 6:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. midwestnorwegian wrote:

As a 15 year veteran of the public school classroom…THANK YOU supreme court for bringing some sense into this, and for smacking down another idiot and his parents AND the ACLU.  The masthead of my high school paper had this quote:  “With every freedom, there is a responsibility” - Abraham Lincoln.

June 26, 9:18 am | [comment link]
2. Phil wrote:

I disagree, mwn.  This is another blow to the First Amendment, which, whether we like it or not, contains rights shared by idiots and their parents, too.

June 26, 11:57 am | [comment link]
3. Jeff Thimsen wrote:

This is not a blow to the First Amendment but a blow for common sense. The young man who displayed the banner stated that he didn’t having any specific message in mind, but that it was subjective and the viewer could decide the meaning. It is a basic principle of 1st Amendment jurisprudence that in order to protected speech, the message must readily discernable.

June 26, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
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