Joe Frederick, First Amendment Idol

Will the Supreme Court hold high the banner 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus,' or crush free speech?

Next week: Starr's skillful strategy during oral arguments in Morse v. Frederick, which came to the court of final judgment after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Joe Frederick's First Amendment right to unfurl "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

Worth noting: At an early point in this case, as NPR's Totenberg reported, "Joe Frederick and his father offered to settle the case if the school put on an assembly at which students would hear from an ACLU representative and a school board official explaining what student rights are."

The Juneau School Board refused what would have been a memorable teaching moment for the students, faculty, and school board. It is now up to the Roberts Court to either support Joe Frederick or flunk the First Amendment for what could be at least a generation. The court will focus on whether any student speech that violates "a school's basic mission" can be forbidden. Each school would decide that for itself.

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