The Drug Exception to the First Amendment

You heard today's good news regarding freedom of speech. Now for the bad news: The Supreme Court has ruled that Joseph Frederick, then a high school senior in Juneau, Alaska, did not have a First Amendment right to hold up a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner at an off-campus Olympic torch rally in 2002. Since students were let out of class to attend the rally (although Frederick himself came directly from home), the Court ruled, it was in effect a school event and they were still under school supervision. Because the banner sent a pro-drug message, the Court ruled, Principal Deborah Morris was within her rights when she crumpled it up and suspended Frederick for 10 days.

As I feared, the Court seems to be opening up a "drug exception" to the First Amendment, albeit limited (so far) to students in school. It's true that high school students do not have the same free speech rights as adults, but the Court has held that they do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." They have a right, for instance, to wear anti-war armbands. In that case, the Court held that student speech may be suppressed only if it will "materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school." A "mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint" or "an urgent wish to avoid the controversy which might result from the expression" is not enough to justify censorship. But fear of drugs apparently is.

"Schools may take steps to safeguard those entrusted to their care from speech that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging illegal drug use," the Court ruled. So where does that leave a student who wears a "Legalize It" T-shirt, who points out the problems caused by prohibition during a class discussion of drugs, or who shares accurate information about the hazards of marijuana with his fellow students? I suspect principals like Deborah Morris would view all of these student expressions as "encouraging illegal drug use," even though they are also indisputably political speech. If expressing opposition to the Vietnam War is protected even in school, how can expressing opposition to the War on Drugs not be? I have a feeling we're going to find out.

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  • ||

    " ... the Court has held that they do not "shed their constitutional rights...at the schoolhouse gate." "

    "A" Supreme Court may have ruled that way, once upon a time, but everything is different now, et c, et c.

  • BruceM||

    Just what I figured, and my same exact reaction to the case. They have carved out drug exceptions to every other relevant constitutional protection and limitation of power(Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Commerce Clause, etc), so why not the Firth Amendment as well? The Constitution simply does not apply to drugs. Nor can it. A system of limited government cannot prohibit the possession of leaves and powders amongst its populace -- unlimited power is a prerequisite.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    This blows. Another tool for the school administration to use in terms of supressing free speech.

  • Your Bibertarian Government||

    Freedom is a privilege, not a right.

  • ||

    I could see the logic of allowing schools to ban messages that explicitly encourage illegal activity, as this one did. Haven't read the opinion, so I'm not sure whether they make a distinction between "Bong Hits 4 Jesus", which is an incitement to illegal activity, and "Legalize it!", which is a political statement.

  • ||

    I'm curious, do the denizens of H&R think it would be a problem if a school administrator disciplined a kid who unfurled a "Let's smash some car windshields tonight" banner at a football game?

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Breyer mentions your "Legalize It!" point in his partial concurrence/dissent.

  • ||

    There's a significant difference between being thrown in jail and being suspended from high school. I have a hard time buying that his free speech was oppressed, even when considering that his school attendance is compulsory. I simply can't equate school punishment with punishment by the state, regardless of how closely bound the two are.

    I look forward to reading this SCOTUS opinion.

  • ktc2||

    Don't worry Mr. Sullum with the help of Bush's appointed "righteous judges" the drug exception to free speech will soon effect you too.

  • ||

    "As I feared, the Court seems to be opening up a "drug exception" to the First Amendment, albeit limited (so far) to students in school."
    I agree, that is what the opinion reads, especially the concurrence by Alito and Kennedy. Hey, Single Issue Voter, are you around? Care to argue your usual line that the Democrat Appointees acted in EXCATLY the same way regarding drug issues as the GOP Apponitees? Jesus I'd love to hear the madness that would entail! (It's always a bitch when reality kicks one squarely in the the crotch).

  • ||

    They'll have to pry my Cheech & Chong movies and my Peter Tosh albums from my cold, dead fingers.

  • ||

    I have a question. Are there any liberties that are not threatened by the Democrats and Republicans, taken together?

  • ||

    Sometimes the people here act as if the courts are just supposed to ignore the fact that drug use is illegal. You want kids to be allowed to hold up banners at school celebrating drug use? Get the freaking drug laws changed. It's that simple.

    All this beating around the bush, trying to get the courts to do your work for you, isn't going to get you anywhere.

  • ||

    I think if the teacher had simply crumpled the banner and left, I'd have no sympathy. Its purely the suspension I object to, implying that the kid did something as bad as getting into a fight or cheating on an exam. This was something equivalent as throwing a paper airplane in class and hitting the teacher. Its something kids do and means little to overall educational experience of everyone. I think a more fair thing for the supreme court to have done is either dismissed this as being something not needing 1st amendment clarification or simply put out an opinion dismissing this case as asinine and scolding both sides for their tying up of the judicial system.

  • ||

    The five vote majority restricting speech in this incident are the same five judges coming out in favor of it in the other case. How would they rule on a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" campaign ad?

  • ||

    Here is a guide to recent Supreme Court decisions:

    Where the right wing supports libertarian positions, it prevails 5-4. (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy over Breyer, Ginsburg, Stevens, and Souter)

    Where the right wing supports anti-libertarian positions, it prevails 5-4. (Same lineup as above.)

    In short, whether libertarians prevail in the Supreme Court or not depends on whether their position on a given issue coincides with that of political conservatives. (I am using the words "right wing" and "conservative" as they are conventionally used in contemporary American politics, not in any philosophical sense.)

    Yes, it sounds crude. But it seems to work out that way in decision after decisison...

  • ||

    "I have a question. Are there any liberties that are not threatened by the Democrats and Republicans, taken together?"
    I appreciate the sentiment, but lets not, like SIV, make the mistake that their is an equivalence between the Dems and GOP on restricting liberty. The GOP is authoritarian through and through, and that's that mattress man.

  • BTS||

    It's true that high school students do not have the same free speech rights as adults

    Nor the same fouth amendment rights, or second, or fifth, or ...well, most of them.

  • tlxtftrf||

    Having read Thomas's comments, I really have to laugh at the numbnuts at reason claiming that Thomas some how espouses the libertarian point of view on free speech. He essently argued in his concurring opinion that students at school functions have no first ammendment rights whatsoever and that school administrators have every right to censor speech

  • BTS||

    Of course, I think they SHOULD. Especially the first and fourth. I remember way back in my middle school days in suburban Atlanta, they pulled out all the stops and sent cops in with drug-sniffing dogs. It was pretty terrible on so multiple levels.

  • BTS||

    Gah, remove the "so" ...damn, I'm a bad editor.

  • ||

    "Having read Thomas's comments, I really have to laugh at the numbnuts at reason claiming that Thomas some how espouses the libertarian point of view on free speech. He essently argued in his concurring opinion that students at school functions have no first ammendment rights whatsoever and that school administrators have every right to censor speech"
    Very good, actually read the opinions. The GOP types care not for "rights" or "liberties" ever. Remember that....

  • ||

    Alito's concurrence was very narrow. He said the school could restrict speech promoting illegal drug use but not speech expressing a political view, for example that the War on Drugs is a bad idea or marijuana should be legalized.

  • ||

    What everyone seems to overlook in this decision, particualrly when invoking the "black arm bands" from the Vietnam war, is the amount of media control and propagandizing the government has done throughout the course of the War on Drugs.

    I think a major portion of this court victory for the school is that the War on Drugs has a popularity vastly exceeding the Vietnam war, especially considering its duration. It is more comparable to WWII, particularly when you consider the rediculous amount of influence or control over the media the government has wielded in both cases.

    How popular would a person have been in 1942 who was opposed to the government's intervention in the war? Not that I believe those in favor of legalizing drugs are on a par with Nazi sympathisers, but I am saying that "This is your brain on drugs" is the moral and journalistic equivelent of the newsreels of the time: pure propaganda with only a tenuous connection to reality.

  • tlxtftrf||

    for any reason. He even cited a ruling stating that it was proper for a school to expel a child who dared to point out that there were not enough fire exits at his school "for humiliating the administration."

    "Similarly, the California Court of Appeals upheld the expulsion of a student who gave a speech before the student body that criticized the administration for having an unsafe building“because of the possibility of fire."

    I guess thats libertarian thought for you all..if the state built a school with bad fire planning and a student dare question it, expel him immediately for rebelling against authority.”

  • ||

    According to http://www.scotusblog.com/movabletype/archives/2007/06/quick_prelimina.html it could be worse.

  • ||

    Ken,

    I don't agree. Both sides are willing to oppress us to make us be the people they think we should be. If we don't fight both viewpoints with equal fervor, the trend either way is towards tyranny.

    And plenty of Republicans are fans of limited government and freedom--hyperbole otherwise aside. Just not enough of them are.

  • tlxtftrf||

    He even asserted that teachers techniques should include physical discipline to educate along with agrument and persuation.

    So if a kid asks why the derivative of a log is f'x/fx the correct response isn't to explain the rule and why it works apparently, but just beat him until he shuts up.

  • ||

    I guess thats libertarian thought for you all..if the state built a school with bad fire planning and a student dare question it, expel him immediately for rebelling against authority.



    So if a kid asks why the derivative of a log is f'x/fx the correct response isn't to explain the rule and why it works apparently, but just beat him until he shuts up.



    Some people might say that you have no idea what libertarian philosophy is all about, but not me! By all means, please lecture us some more on what we really believe.

  • tlxtftrf||

    Apparently Jake doesn't understand sarcasm, your teacher should have spanked you harder...or perhaps he didn't read my earlier comment referencing the salivating comments of earilier posters on this and other threads saying that Thomas was the leader of libertarian thought at the supreme court.

    The concuuring opinion of Thomas delves into self parody when he states that parents who don't like the ruling can move somewhere else. Saying this of course while he signs on to a federal ruling that could give all school administrators across the country authority to censor dissenting opinions on or off campus as long as they find it disrupting to discipline. Where are they supposed to move to Justice?

    A lot of people may consider reason a fringe blog, but we apparently have trolls in high places (Justice Thomas = Dan T.)

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    I gotta say I don't give a Tinker's damn about Bong-Hits Boy and think Thomas's concurring opinion got it just about right -- students in schools are subject to in loco parentis speech restrictions and the Court should have never opened this constitutional can of worms in the first place.

    That said, usual disclaimers about the evils of government schools regardless and yadda, yadda, but I'll believe there is an emerging drug exception to the 1st Amendment when I see a similar decision outside the context of a school (or, for different reasons, the military).

  • ||

    Saying that Thomas is the most libertarian of the Supreme Court is a lot like saying he's the tallest munchkin. It's not at all equivalent to saying that he is a libertarian, and even further from saying that Thomas' pronouncements constitute libertarian dogma.

  • ||

    Thank God that Bush appointed Janice Rogers Brown to protect our cherished freedoms.

    What do you mean, that didn't happen?

  • Phillip Conti||

    I know this has already been covered, but the kid clearly should have said, "legalize bong hits for jesus" and that would have been allowed.

  • ||

    I've hated this case since I first heard about it. While I am seriously disappointed that the SC came down with the decision that it did, I think I am most pissed at Joseph Frederick himself.

    He was a stupid teenager doing stupid teen-age shit. He was 18 at the time, so he was an adult not a minor. So the in loco parentis issue is strictly limited to whether or not he was "in school" at the time. He tried (I think it was an intentional decision) to avoid the school issue by not going to school first, but going to the event from home. However, he then mingled with other students and teachers -- so the court is probably right in determining that he was acting as a student at a school function.

    And still, he might yet have prevailed if he had unfurled a banner with an overtly political message. Instead, this attention whore put up some self-admitted, non-sense phrase to catch the attention of the TV cameras.

    Now we have one more ruling from the SC that says drugs are so bad we need to limited the freedoms of private citizens to prevent the wrong message from being delivered to the children.

    Stupid little prick.

  • ||

    Granted, this whole thing is more troubling in principal (establishing a first First Amendment exception) than in practice (suspension of a sullen youth), however:

    I'm curious, do the denizens of H&R think it would be a problem if a school administrator disciplined a kid who unfurled a "Let's smash some car windshields tonight" banner at a football game?

    The phrase "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" doesn't contain a verb, so it's ambiguous. "Let's smash..." clearly advocates illegal and violent behavior. Nit-picky, for sure, but that's the law for ya'.

  • ||

    What is the law about adults in high school? I have two kids that will be nearly nineteen when they graduate, due to the state or county (don't know which) drawing the line at the beginning of the school year, rather than the calendar year. Frankly, I cannot think of a reason for such students to be subject to the kids-have-limited right arguments, seeing how they are like, um, adult people. With rights and stuff. Tough if that's inconvenient for our government-run schools to administer.

  • ||

    It is a leap of faith to say that "Bong Hits 4 Jesus", is an incitement to illegal activity. If the banner had stated Ivory 4 Allah, is that also an incitement to illegal activity?

  • ||

    It is a leap of faith to say that "Bong Hits 4 Jesus", is an incitement to illegal activity.

    The SC admitted the phrase was ambiguous. Therefore, they deferred to the principle's judgement that it was drug-related and in conflict with the school's mission.

    What is the law about adults in high school?

    Don't know for sure. But the schools certainly treat all students with the same disregard once they cross the school boundary and become "students". I have not heard any cases where the courts have singled out adult students for different treatment than minors.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    I think the rule with adults is that they (tacitly) agree to be bound by the same rules by their continued presence. Free speech arguments aside, that's a fairly sensible practical solution.

  • TrappedEastOfTheBigMuddy||

    I have a question. Are there any liberties that are not threatened by the Democrats and Republicans, taken together?



    The 3rd amendment still seems to be sound...

  • ||

    Can someone explain to me why it's OK for students to protest Americans being killed in Vietnam but it's not OK for students to protest Americans being killed in a War on Drugs.

  • ||

    Can someone explain to me why it's OK for students to protest Americans being killed in Vietnam but it's not OK for students to protest Americans being killed in a War on Drugs

    It probably would be it that is what Joseph Frederick had actually done.

  • ||

    if, not it. . . preview, preview, preview

  • ||

    Quartering soldiers remains the true "third rail" of politics to this day. You can't even mention it in political discourse these days. Go ahead--Google it!

    DAR,

    It's not like adult high school students could run completely amok--many restrictions would still hold--but these cases dealing with speech restrictions seem to usually focus on the limited rights of minors, with the schools in loco parentis. How does that apply to a full-fledged citizen, with the right to vote, contract, serve in the military, etc.?

  • ||

    My interpretation is that once the SC decided that Frederick was a "student" at the time, then the SC could/would give the schools wide latittude in restricting "any" message that disrupts the mission of the school. Frederick's status as an adult versus a minor was not a issue then.

  • ||

    Not all speech is protected speech. If Frederick had posted a banner with an overtly political message, he probably would have prevailed. But he didn't.

  • ||

    "Alito's concurrence was very narrow. He said the school could restrict speech promoting illegal drug use but not speech expressing a political view, for example that the War on Drugs is a bad idea or marijuana should be legalized."
    Good job, "me", Alito's was "less bad", now give us a defense of it, pretty please? If it is bad to "restrict speech promoting illegal drug use" why is "speech expressing a political view,...that the War on Drugs is a bad idea" OK? Take a breath and explain...You can't? It's OK, neither can Alito, whom you're defending?
    "It probably would be it that is what Joseph Frederick had actually done." Now, now, carrick, let's not equivocate, the difference is between what liberal justices will allow and what "conservative" ones will. Will you allow that liberals are better for liberty than conservatives? We (and reality) are waiting...
    Hilarious to see the conservative-libertarians (oxymorons: conservatives want "ordered liberty") squirm and flip and flop to try to dodge the logical conclusion of hteir foolishness...

  • ||

    So, subtle or subdued political speech is not protected,it has to be overtly political? I never thought of it that way.

  • ||

    Where, oh, where, are you Single Issue Voter? I'm not the only one, I'm sure, who is dying to know why the conservative justices you revere were so disinclined to respect pro-drug speech??? Since, as you have so ably argued, when you have disengaged yourself from the epic struggle of cocks, liberals are JUST AS BAD as conservatives, I need an explanation as to this 6-3 vote!

  • You\'re Next||

    The Court's long-standing treatment of the First as if it protects political speech and not any other kind is ridiculous, and without textual basis, but it sure works. It's given us a state-defined "political" that excludes all politics that refuses to speak the state's chosen language of policy advocacy.

    Judging by reactions to this case, even libertarians' minds have beeen warped to match the state's interest in this exclusion reflexively.

    First they came for the absurdist, attitudinal anarchists...

  • ||

    Another supporter of the idea that Thomas is the most libertarian friendly judge on the supreme court can be found at the link below. He should be familiar to many readers of reason .

    Search and Seizure

    His dissent in Edmonds is also one more example of how Clarence Thomas is the biggest friend of liberty on the bench, and a far more thoughtful and sophisticated jurist than his leftist critics give him credit for.

    Thomas and his non belief in stare decis makes him willing to overturn cases that have made some of the worst examples of government abuse possible.

    Absent a willingness to go back and overturn old cases it is very difficult for the supreme court to improve civil liberties

  • ||

    So, subtle or subdued political speech is not protected,it has to be overtly political?

    While stating that the schools have gone way overboard, so I generally disagree with them, the argument is:

    Students do not have full rights while in school and school adminstrators have wide lattitude while acting in loco parentis to decide what is appropriate behavior and speech in a school setting.

    When the courts get involved, it is long after the fact. The courts are not going to overrule the actions of the school adminstrators unless it is obvious that their actions violated clear constitutional rights. This hurdle is getting higher and higher with each successive SC ruling.

    So yes, the consequence of having to prove after-the-fact that speech was protected means that only overtly political speech will be protected in a school setting.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    P.L.

    Try telling a judge in open court your free speech rights as an adult include mouthing off at him. All I'm saying is that there is a sort of contract issue here between the adult student and the school. Student doesn't have to be there, school doesn't have to keep him there. Of course as a political matter the schools do permit students over 18 to continue to graduation, but its still a school filled with minors and the rules must be uniformly enforced. (Again, I ain't saying the rules are good, only that I understand why the system would have to hold the older students to the same standards.)

  • ||

    "It probably would be it that is what Joseph Frederick had actually done." Now, now, carrick, let's not equivocate, the difference is between what liberal justices will allow and what "conservative" ones will. Will you allow that liberals are better for liberty than conservatives? We (and reality) are waiting...

    I've read this a couple of times and I still don't understand what you are asking.

    I expect that justices placed on the bench by democratic presidents will decide that the state has ample reason to take money from me for the purposes of social good, whether I agree with those intentions or not. I also expect those justices to place substantial burden on the operation of the free market to protect the poor and the helpless from the consequences of unbridled free enterprise.

    I expect that justices placed on the bench by republican presidents will decide that the state has ample reason to protect me from the consequences of immoral acts that I may or may not choose to engage in while in the privacy of my own home. I also expect them to trample on my civil liberties in order to protect me from criminal elements both here and abroad.

    The sad part is that I trust the Supreme Court far more than the legislative and executive branches combined.

  • ||

    DAR,

    Thus my "many restrictions would apply" statement. It's not like every government-run facility is a free-speech free for all, and there's obviously good reason for that. However, once you open the door to adult Americans having a forum for some viewpoints, you'd damn well better be ready for other viewpoints that you don't like.

    The whole problem here, of course, is with the idea of government-run schools. Private schools could fully oppress the young, as God intended.

  • ||

    Jesus, Carrick, put down the bong and stop thinking of Jesus and my point is clear:
    Liberal justices are more friendly to liberty than conservative ones.
    There is a reason liberal and libertarian start with the same letters, both think liberty is important. Liberals are more willing to use government to "protect liberty" from other institutions that limit it, like community, employers, etc.
    Conservatives, on the other hand, have never started from a position that respects liberty. They think liberty=license. Read their "founding fathers" like Burke or de Mastrie, and you will see they eat that authoritarian shit with a spoon and worry plenty about the common people getting ideas about "liberty." Yes, modern liberals over-reach and impinge on liberty. But they are nowhere near as bad as conservatives.
    So why in the world are libertarians always appearing at conservative think tank events and such, more so than at liberal ones? Jesus my bong hitting friend, that is obvious, the common funding of libertarian and conservative think tanks and magazines.

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Hey Ken! Looking for me?

    Some people have to work for a living you know.

    This is a speech case- not a drug case.

    "students at school functions have no first ammendment rights"

    Go read Thomas's dissent in Raich for insight into his views on drugs and the Federal government.

    Here is the quote referenced above from Balko

    "....Clarence Thomas is the biggest friend of liberty on the bench, and a far more thoughtful and sophisticated jurist than his leftist critics give him credit for."

  • ||

    I wouldn't recommend it, but I have smoked tobacco from a bong before.

    Killer headache, but legal.

    Just wanted to point out the idiocy of this decision.

  • ||

    Sorry to post and run, but here it is:

    Jesus, Carrick, put down the bong and stop thinking of Jesus and my point is clear:

    I oppose the idea that recreational drugs should be illegal, but I do not use them.

    Liberal justices are more friendly to liberty than conservative ones.

    You have not proven this point yet.

    There is a reason liberal and libertarian start with the same letters, both think liberty is important.

    The modern definition of libertartian is essentially the old, classic definition of liberal. I do not use the term "liberal" for modern "liberals". I use the term "progressive".

    Liberals are more willing to use government to "protect liberty" from other institutions that limit it, like community, employers, etc.

    In my opinion, progressives are every bit as dangerous as conservatives. They have a different focus, but still believe the power of the government should be used to "help" people.

    Conservatives, on the other hand, have never started from a position that respects liberty. They think liberty=license.

    No disagreement here.

    Read their "founding fathers" . . .

    Some day when I have more time.

    . . . like Burke or de Mastrie, and you will see they eat that authoritarian shit with a spoon and worry plenty about the common people getting ideas about "liberty."

    I doesn't appear that the founding fathers would have been able to cope with all the consequences of their creations. Anymore that Einstein could cope with all the consequences of his great discoveries. That doesn't necessarily lessen the value of those creations.

    Yes, modern liberals over-reach and impinge on liberty. But they are nowhere near as bad as conservatives.

    You say tomato . .

    So why in the world are libertarians always appearing at conservative think tank events and such, more so than at liberal ones? Jesus my bong hitting friend, that is obvious, the common funding of libertarian and conservative think tanks and magazines.

    No opinions on this extended rant.

  • ||

    1st A. on its ear. According to this court, if speeches brushes up against criminal laws (as judged by the amorphous "reasonable listener"), then social and political relevance is presumed not to exist, and no protection. This court clearly would have gone the other way in Cohen (the famous "f*ck the draft" case from the 70s):

    F*ck the draft" can reasonably be seen as a message to engage in illegal draft dodging, so it cannot be credited with having any social or political value. Affirmed.

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Ken, are you really a college Professor?

    This equating Classical Liberalism with left/liberalism doesn't fly in a high school debate.

    More importantly than their faith in free markets, libertarians and conservatives are in general agreement that we are a nation of INDIVIDUALS. That is heresy to left/liberals who view "society" as made up of identity groups and classes. Leftism and libertarianism
    are more opposite than Leftist and Conservative ideologies which agree on the primacy of State power over individual liberty.

  • ||

    This is a WOD decision clothed in 1st A hyperbole.

    Just wait until old Stevens and Ginsburg are gone and all the Justices will be of the WOD generation(s).

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Carrick,

    "In my opinion, progressives are every bit as dangerous as conservatives."

    No, "progressives" are far worse.
    Example: European and Asian "progressives" in 20th Century history.In the US conservatives recognize the concept of the individual while "progressives" do not."Group liberty" is meaningless.

  • tlxtftrf||

    While I understand that there are some limits on free speech in public places and educational institutions for the sake of preserving the correct atmosphere (no swearing at the teachers, etc.) what pisses me off is the stifling of debate or intellectual curiosity that is dooming public education, and the social engineering advocates that are the cause of this (from the SB to the SC).

    It seems to me that we've completely ceased to educate the children of the US and instead are using classes to condition children into thoughtless, faithless, sociopaths. Gone are the days when philosophy, science, math, and english were just that. Now we've got to make sure that the children know weed is bad mkay, and never question it mkay, and that the height of learning is route memorization mkay, not being able to logically think your way through a problem to its rational or empirical answer, mkay. And its not okay to speak out of turn or form another opinion then what the authorities tell you mkay, and don't show any compassion or affection towards your fellow human beings mkay. And don't you dare assert that there might be a right or wrong, mkay cause there is no such thing (then why am I being punished), and don't you dare correct people when they're wrong (like when the math teacher claims a kilometer is longer than a mile) cause questions like that embarrass the faculty, mkay. (Mackey impression over)

    In short the problem was best articulated by my ex-vice principal before I dropped out of high school and went on to get a college degree.

    "It is not our job to teach you, that's secondary, our first job is to correctly socialize you into the 21st century workforce."

    That type of thinking from government agents including the supreme court justices embodies everything that is wrong with the American educational system. The idea that the education system for them to create "correct" citizens (read mindless) who just shut up and do what they're told.

  • ||

    Ken said,

    Jesus, Carrick, put down the bong and stop thinking of Jesus and my point is clear:
    Liberal justices are more friendly to liberty than conservative ones.



    Got cite?

    The liberal justices positions in Kelo clearly show you are wrong.

    Not to mention the liberal justices position in Raich which was hung on the Wickard v. Filburn case which was brought by the liberal new deal government in order to defend liberal new deal policies.

    New deal liberal justices massively expanded the scope of government. Modern liberal justices continue to give the expanded government power to restrict freedom.

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Speaking of The New Deal.....

    You can't remind the progressive dopers enough that the Marihuana Tax Act was passed by the New Deal Democrat Congress and signed into law by ol'
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

  • Fluffy||

    The fact that the public schools cannot be run smoothly according to the principles in the Bill of Rights is just one more piece of evidence that public education should not exist.

    It's the unwillingness to let go of a statist institution that leads to this continual judicial head-scratching about "line drawing".

    They know that students should have free speech. Even that bastard Roberts knows it and pays lip service to it. But they can't figure out how to square that with maintaining basic order and smooth operation of the facilities of education, and they are doggedly determined to not reach the conclusion that they CAN'T BE SQUARED, and that the fact that they can't be squared is one more thing that proves that public education has to go.

  • Grotius||

    crimethink,

    Sometimes the people here act as if the courts are just supposed to ignore the fact that drug use is illegal. You want kids to be allowed to hold up banners at school celebrating drug use? Get the freaking drug laws changed. It's that simple.

    I think it is fair to argue that the two should be viewed as seperate issues. In a way I am reminded of those adults who have flashed their breasts as a sign of protest against laws which prohibit such acts. Arrests for such protests have been thrown out on First Amendment grounds.

  • ||

    The idea that conservatives in America or anywhere (at least historically, remember that conservatives in the EU are so nice because they were historically discredited by their close alliance with Hitler, Mussolini and Franco) care a whit about liberty is a myth, one kept alive by the common funding sources of libertarian and conservative think tanks. Conservatives need libertarians, their votes, ideas and money, but they do not have sympathy with their ideas. The Founding Father of conservatism, any conservative will tell you, is Burke who was a monarchist who preached steadily against toleration and for "order" above all.
    Now to SIV's silliness. He claims conservatives are more friendly to liberty that liberals on the SCOTUS.
    The same conservatives who do not believe in a right to privacy at all (see Thomas' dissent in Lawrence v. Texas) therefore allowing the state to ban sexual positions (Lawrence v. Texas or Bowers), information on contraception (Griswold), abortions (Roe), to drug test high schoolers?
    The same conservatives who consistently uphold the authority of police vs. citizens (it was the liberal Warren Court that incorporated the Fourth Amendments search and seizure protections to the states in Mapp, the right to counsel in Gideon, self-incrimination in Ashcroft and Miranda, all over frothing opposition by the conservatives on the bench, who continue that traditon with Hudson for example)?
    The same conservative justices who backed the government's ability to grab people and detain them for as long as the government wants?
    Yeah, Kelo was bad, and I realize you ugys value no right as highly as property, but it doesn't absolve all those sins against liberty.

  • ||

    Yeah, Kelo was bad, and I realize you ugys value no right as highly as property, but it doesn't absolve all those sins against liberty.

    Ken, you are totally clueless.

    Libertarians view all rights as being equal -- property rights are equal in importance with civil rights.

    Therefore, progressive justices stomping on property rights is just as bad as conservative justices stomping on civil rights.

    I'm sorry, but I can't take anyone seriously that won't take the time to actually learn what libertarian philosophy is before trying to debunk it.

  • ||

    "Therefore, progressive justices stomping on property rights is just as bad as conservative justices stomping on civil rights."
    Well, carrick you can count, right? I mean, I can agree there are all kinds of rights that are important. Speech, rights of the accused, reproductive, and property. If the progressives stamp on the last and the conservatives stamp on the first three (and more), then how are they equally bad? And how does this not show that you libs put some extra special value on property rights OVER lifestyle ones?

  • M||

    The deliberately incongruous collocation of incomensurates in a message enjoining its audience to "[Consecrate] Bong Hits for Jesus" appears to aim at once at

    a) delegitimizing anyone's doing anything for Jesus, because proposing that intoxication could logically be consecrated to Jesus deprives the notion of (at least traditional/mainstream) Christian consecrataion of its distinctive substance

    and

    b) endorsing taking bong hits.

    Now one of the beauties of less-inflected languages like English lies in a user's liberty (n.b.) as well as necessity to determine the meaning of a message through word-order.

    A sign promoting, say, "Jesus for Bong Hit[ter]s" would raise a different, partly contradictory, and probably lesser, set of problems.

    Had the young man displayed a sign on which he had arranged the same four words in all possible permutations, perhaps rotating on an endless loop, he would have preserved a truer ambiguity and so increased his chances of exoneration, perhaps simultaneously demonstrating a less urgent need to attend high school classes.

  • M||

    How do you quote with the smooth little vertical bar on the left margin? And please don't tell me it requires either prayer or smoke.

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