Free Speech 'Takes a Hit'

Monday, June 25, 2007 at 10:05 PM

The Supreme Court today handed down a ruling that says students' free speech is not protected inside the school if it can be construed as dangerous to other children, such as promoting illegal drug use.

Voting 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled against a Juneau, Alaska student who unfurled his "Bong hits 4 Jesus" banner at a school function, hoping to get on TV.

Justices Thomas and Scalia were looking for more restrictions, specifically the overturning of the 1969 precedent that allowed students to wear black armbands at school in protest of the Vietnam War.

Thomas, in his concurrence:

As originally understood, the Constitution does not afford students a right to free speech in public schools...Early public schools gave total control to teachers, who expected obedience and respect from students.

Thomas said that if parents didn't like their kids being punished for speaking their mind, they could take it up with the school board, homeschool, or "simply move".

With this ruling, the court moves to a more restrictive first amendment interpretation than we've seen before. It comes as a surprise to many on the right, especially religious groups who are concerned that the slippery slope of first amendment restrictions may begin to include things like anti-abortion and anti-gay messages.

It is somewhat surprising to see conservatives expanding the government's role in regulating what is and is not free speech, given that the traditional conservative ideology eschews more government control over anything and everything.

The new conservatism seems to be in itself what the left has been derided for in the past two decades: more government, less citizen freedom and participation, and a decrease in fiscal responsibility.

How will this ruling change things? Well, if a school official or administrator interprets something a child in school does as promoting anything the school disagrees with, it is not a violation of that student's rights for the school to punish them for their formerly free speech.

And hey, if you don't like it, home school your kids. That's the SCOTUS' point of view, anyway.

While not the subject of this article, the SCOTUS also handed down a ruling that put a huge dent in the separation between church and state, making it much harder for federal taxpayers to contest the government's right to encourage and fund faith-based initiatives. This will allow the government to much more freely violate the establishment clause of the first amendment to the constitution, because now they don't have to pretend to treat non faith based initiatives fairly.



Is history about to repeat itself, I wonder?

From the Talmud:
"There were four judges in Sodom named Shakrai (Liar), Shakurai (Awful Liar), Zayyafi (Forger), and Mazle Dina (Perverter of Justice). Now if a man assaulted his neighbour's wife and bruised her, they would say to the husband, Give her to him, that she may become pregnant for thee. If one cut off the ear of his neighbour's ass, they would order, Give it to him until it grows again."

Okay, if anyone sees three angels, call me. I'm heading for the hills at warp!

First, what the hell are you talking about?

Second, are you under the impression the federal government runs this site? This site is a private enterprise that can delete anything it wants to. Nice red herring, though.

Actually, more than just political speech is protected. Religious expression is not political speech, last time I checked.

Thanks for trolling!