The Supreme Court ruled against free speech for students today. The case Morse v. Frederick, invovled a student holding a banner that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” at an Olympic torch rally. The school suspended him. The student sued claiming that the 1st Amendment protected free speech.
SCOTUS ruled in favor of the school and held that preventing drug use among students is more important than free speech. The court said that speech “promoting drug use” can be banned. If that is the case then “No Bong Hits 4 Jesus” shirts should be ok. I see a marketing opportunity.
The dissent correctly points out that banning speech promoting “drug use” is going to also limit speech that challenges drug laws. The dissent and concurring opinion leave one question unclear- Could students be suspended for advocating changing drug laws as opposed to drug use?
Justice Roberts, the “strict constructionist” wrote the majority opinion. A real “strict constructionist” would have seen that the First Amendment protects free speech even if the government really, really, really wants to punish it.
Conservatives are judicial activists after all. They are just activists for the Police State, whereas as liberal justices are judicial activists for the Nanny State. Both are wrong.
The Bill of Rights is supposed to limit the government’s role in our lives. However, since we have decided the government must take care of us from cradle to grave and educate our children we have given up that freedom for security, and deserve neither for it.