December 2, 2006

Supreme Court Watch

Friday, the Supreme Court ordered a grant of certiorari to the case of Morse v. Frederick. In this case, a high school student in Juneau, Alaska arrived late to school on the day in 2002 when the Olympic torch was being run through his city. Students were let out of class, although some students (those in the band and cheerleaders) were required to perform while the torch was run by. Frederick and his buddies went across the street from the school onto some private property (unclear if the owners consented to what happened) and as the torch was run by and the cameras were on them, they unfurled a large banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." Frederick was the only student identified as participating in this and has refused to name the other students involved. He was suspended for ten days; after his appeal of the suspension was denied, he sued for a violation of his right to free speech.

I'm wondering how this will play into another case I've been watching, also involving students, but this one offering a Fourteenth Amendment issue. (UPDATE on 12/4/06: Certiorari was denied, much as I had predicted it would have been -- and whether they like the idea or not, that's a good thing for my former clients, who could not have possibly won that case before the nine Justices currently on the Court.)

I'd have provided a direct link and a picture of the students holding up the banner (and another, more irrevent picture acquired elsewhere), but Blogger is behaving very strangely and both formatting and picture posting options are apparently not available right now.

No comments: