The bong tolls for thee

Andy Carvin analyzes the Supreme Court’s decision, announced today, on the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case. Hat tip to Boing Boing. Justice Roberts, writing for himself in a patchwork of majority opinions, wrote, “A principal may, consistent with the First Amendment, restrict student speech at a school event, when that speech is reasonably viewed as promoting illegal drug use.” Justice Thomas took the LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION position — alas, sub silientio — and asked, What makes you think the Constitution applies the right to free speech to kids in school in the first place?

I know that is not a popular position, nor a popular Justice; but I have the shoulders, on the other hand, to pull that off.

Justice Alito doesn’t agree with Justice Thomas or me. And there are a bunch of other opinions in there, too. That sort of thing was not supposed to happen under Chief Justice Roberts, but it’s a relief when it does. Consensus on courts of last resort on issues amenable to many different understandings is not, in my view, a desideratum.

UPDATE: Another 5-4 win for common sense on the free speech issue.

UPDATE: Great essay on the “Bong hits” case.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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2 Responses to “The bong tolls for thee”

  1. June 25, 2007 at 6:47 pm #

    I thought everyone’s position was ridiculous.

  2. June 26, 2007 at 10:08 am #

    But wasn’t the banner in question being displayed on a public street, not on school property? And I very much dislike the blatant intrusion of content-based regulation of speech endorsed by some of the justices, where if drug use is mentioned, suddenly First Amendment principles don’t apply. The war on drugs is a war against liberty.